Should You See A Chiropractor For Sciatica?
Sciatica can cause pain, numbness or weakness in your hip, buttock and leg. Chiropractic and sciatica is a good match because chiropractic care can address many of the issues that can cause sciatic pain. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed, inflamed or irritated.
The sciatic nerve is the longest (and the largest) nerve in your entire body. It starts at the spinal column down in your pelvis and runs down each leg. This nerve can be as wide as your thumb near its point of origin (making it easy to be compressed).
As the sciatic nerve progresses downward, it breaks into five branches that serve your thigh, knee, calf, ankle and foot. From this reason alone, it’s easy to see why it can be so incapacitating when this nerve is compressed. Causes of Sciatica Misalignment (subluxation) of the spine Pelvic misalignment Slipped or herniated disc from a fall or accident Tumors Diabetes Arthritis Vitamin deficiencies Pregnancy Simple movements can often trigger sciatic pain. Doing something as simple as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, sneezing or bending may be enough to send sharp pains down your leg from your hip.
Chiropractors have treated many sciatica cases successfully. Many people don’t realize that sciatica begins with lower back pain. They may feel these aches and pains for a few weeks before the true sciatica pain kicks in. They may feel pain, numbness or weakness start in the hip and move through the buttocks, then down through the thigh, the calf and finally the foot. The pain can be a dull ache or it can be a hot, shooting pain. Pain can last for a few minutes, a few hours or several days or weeks.
The pain going down the leg eventually becomes worse than that in the lower back. Those who have suffered sciatica for a long time will realize the pain will localize in the buttocks and thighs. If it is untreated, the nerve can sustain permanent damage and the calf muscle may begin to deteriorate. Some extreme cases also include a weakened bladder and paresthesia. Most people will wait until the sciatica pain is completely unbearable before they seek the aid of a doctor of chiropractic. This can and may lead to permanent nerve damage.
If you contact a chiropractor when you first feel sciatic pain, there is a much higher success rate and a better chance of relieving the pain and fixing the cause. A chiropractor will take your personal medical history when you first meet, and then do a thorough physical exam. You may need x-rays, but that will depend on what they find. The chiropractor will discuss the results and recommended treatment with you.
Chiropractic manipulation to your spine may be done to help correct any misalignments. These adjustments help remove any blockages that may be putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Muscle spasms may be treated with massage or other muscle techniques.
Your chiropractor may also recommend ice, heat, or ultrasound treatments to help relieve the symptoms. In the most cases, several sessions of manual adjustments are adequate to relieve the problem.
Chiropractic and sciatica are a good fit. Sciatica has a direct cause that can be determined. Chiropractic care can not only relieve the symptoms but remove the cause as well, so the chance of a return of the pain is minimal. X-rays taken before and after treatment for sciatica have proven that chiropractic care realigned the spine and reduced the symptoms.
Before you take pain medications to mask your symptoms, see a chiropractor if you think you may be developing sciatica.