What is Sciatica?
Simply put, sciatica is nerve pain from irritation of the sciatic nerve, located in the lower back that runs down the back of each leg. Sciatica is almost always a one sided issue. Sciatica is radiating pain starting in your lower back that works its way down the back of the legs. Other signs include numbness, tingling and weakness in the legs or feet.
Symptoms can develop over time or come on quite suddenly and they can range from mild to debilitating pain and weakness. Sciatica chiropractors are trained to examine the spine for areas of nerve dysfunction and determine if there are areas where nerves are compromised and possibly responsible for sciatic symptoms. Patterns of disturbed nerve flow and energy often show up as sciatic pain. Chiropractic has been shown to be very effective in addressing the cause of sciatica and helping people regain their lives.
- A sharp, shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- A constant pain on one side of the buttocks
- Pain in the leg or buttocks that is worse when sitting
- Tingling or burning sensation that runs down the leg
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the one leg or foot
Does Chiropractic Treatment Help Sciatica?
A sciatica chiropractor often treats people first by examining the patient and reviewing medical history to determine what is causing the patient’s sciatica pain. Chiropractic treatment is based on the principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function. Chiropractic care helps the body heal itself with non-invasive (non-surgical), and drug-free treatment. Spinal adjustments are at the core of Chiropractic care. Manipulation frees restricted movement of the spine and helps to restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position in the spine.
This takes pressure off of the nerve and often brings quick relief. Once the pressure is off, the body can begin to heal itself.
Chiropractic Adjustment techniques vary from a swift high velocity thrust to those that combine minimal force and gentle pressure. Mastery of each technique is an art that requires great skill and precision. Spinal manipulation is the treatment that differentiates sciatic chiropractic care from other medical disciplines.
While adjustments may be most often used, other treatments may be given, particularly if an adjustment may not be advisable. Treatments may include the use of ultrasound, a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) device, or ice therapy.
How Many Treatments for Sciatica are Needed?
In some people, sciatica may correct itself, possibly occurring only once or a couple of times. A sciatica chiropractor can help bring relief, but several treatments, or adjustments, will likely be needed – particularly if it has been occurring for some time. Exercises will most likely be recommended to strengthen the muscles in the back to help prevent sciatica from recurring, but there is definitely a time component to the sciatica healing process.