Sciatica is a condition that affects many people today. It typically manifests as pain in the lower back or buttocks that radiates down to the legs or feet. This pain can be felt in one or both legs. The pain can often be difficult to describe. Patients have found that pain can change in frequency or intensity.
This pain can range from mild to severe and debilitating at times. The pain itself can also change how it is felt. Sometimes it is like pins and needles, and other times it may be described as dull, or even like electric shocks.
With all the discomfort that sciatica patients experience, they can often be willing to do anything to alleviate the condition. Understanding a few things about sciatica may help you decide what is best for you.
Sciatica is understood as nerve compression of the sciatic nerve. This compression can occur as the sciatic nerve leaves the spinal column and travels down to the legs. There are many possible causes of sciatica that vary in their severity.
Subluxations – subluxations occur when the vertebrae in the spine are misaligned. These misalignments can cause restrictions or pressure on different nerves. Subluxations on the sciatic nerve are a common occurrence for many patients.
Herniated or bulging discs – The padding or discs between the vertebrae can be damaged or deformed. This can create issues with the sciatic nerve that results in sciatica.
Pregnancy – The drastic changes that occur to a woman’s body during pregnancy can create issues along the pelvis and spinal column. Some of these issues may cause a problem with the sciatic nerve.
Tumors – A potentially severe issue occurs when a tumor grows in or along the spinal column. One of the first signs of tumor growth in your spine may be a change in sensation that is caused by the tumor placing pressure against your nerves. Your chiropractor can help diagnose the cause of your discomfort and ensure that you get the appropriate treatment.
Piriformis syndrome – The sciatic nerve travels underneath the piriformis muscle. This muscle can be damaged in slips or falls. If the muscle experiences a strain or tightness, it may affect the ability of the sciatic nerve to function. Cramping or twitching of this muscle can also trigger pain associated with sciatica.
As you have just read, sciatica can be caused by a wide range of issues. Several concerns may extend beyond your discomfort when considering an appropriate diagnosis. Any time that your nerves are affected, there is a range of potential causes that should be thoroughly investigated to receive a proper diagnosis.
Additionally, if you don’t properly diagnose your issue, the subsequent treatment may be ineffective. This leads to continued pain and frustration on your part. Make sure that you work with a licensed chiropractor to receive the best care possible.
If you have worked through a diagnosis with your chiropractor and decided that chiropractic care is the best option for you, then you can begin your treatment plan immediately. You should make sure to ask questions about your plan and adjust as you need them. Your chiropractor will likely use several different treatment options in the treatment of your sciatica.
Ice or Cold Therapy – These methods use temperature cooling to reduce inflammation that may be contributing to your sciatica.
Ultrasound – Ultrasound produces radio waves that result in a gentle massaging sensation. This helps to stimulate the muscles and nerves and reduce your sciatica pain.
Electrotherapy – This therapy uses gentle electric pulses to stimulate and heal the muscles around the joints.
Spinal Manipulation – Your chiropractor may also help to align the vertebrae in your spine to relieve pinching or pressure on the sciatic nerve. You may experience some cracking in the spine as the chiropractor can release gases from the spinal column and reduce overall pressure.
If you are experiencing sciatica, meet with a licensed chiropractor to receive the proper diagnosis and get your personalized treatment plan. You should leave with a better understanding of what type of results you should expect and how long your treatment will last. Chiropractic care for your sciatica offers one of the safest and simple procedures possible to produce the most significant positive effects for you.