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Sciatica is a term that many people have heard of but may not know what it means. The pain in the back and lower extremities radiates from an inflamed or bulging disc in your spine. With chiropractic care and physical therapy, you can get relief from sciatica and start living life again.
Chiropractic care is a popular treatment option for those suffering from sciatica. Many chiropractic clinics have been treating patients with this condition for years and have seen great success in the rehabilitation process.
This article will discuss sciatica, the other medical and pharmacological interventions available to address sciatica, and how chiropractic care shows promising results against sciatica.
Sciatica is a pain that can be very difficult to live with. It usually starts in the lower back and then spreads down through one or both legs. There are many different causes of sciatica, including disc problems, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, and arthritis.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition of the spine and nerves that cause pain, weakness, numbness in your legs. Sciatica is a painful compression of the sciatic nerve. It can happen in many different ways, from slipping discs to prostate problems, from age to surgery.
Sciatica is one of the most common causes of lower back pain in adults under 40 years old. The condition can result when a spinal disc ruptures or slips, which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve and results in tingling and radiating pain down the leg or buttock muscles and numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Sciatica symptoms may also include stabbing pains going down into your foot.
A chiropractic clinic in Oklahoma would treat sciatica by realigning the spine to alleviate pressure on spinal nerve roots coming from discs or joints further up in your back. Chiropractors can do it with hands-on adjustments or by using an activator instrument designed to deliver a controlled force into the body.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica is characterized by pain, tingling, or numbness in the legs. It may also cause:
- Loss of sensation or difficulty moving your leg and foot.
- A burning feeling while walking, sitting down, bending over, standing up from sitting position, and going to sleep.
What causes sciatica?
There are different causes of sciatica which makes it difficult to prescribe one treatment that will work for everyone at once because each person has a different medical condition and a different lifestyle.
Sciatica may be caused by:
- a herniated or bulging disc,
- piriformis syndrome (tightness of the sciatic nerve due to spasm and inflammation),
- spinal stenosis-narrowing of the canal through which your spine passes as it leaves the lower back,
- arthritis in your hips and/or low back.
How is sciatica treated?
Symptoms and diagnosis for sciatica are somewhat fluid due to ambiguities in the current understanding of what causes it. In some people, sciatica resolves by itself, without treatment or surgery.
Different chiropractors use various treatments, but the goal is always to get your spine and nervous system back into alignment so chiropractors can reduce that tissue pressure on nerve roots. Treatment may involve hands-on adjustments to your spinal column or activator instrument treatment (delivering controlled force).
The most common treatments for sciatica are medication, physical therapy, and surgery. Sciatica can also be treated with acupuncture.
Here are the most common treatments for sciatica:
The primary medication for sciatica are medications that have a relaxant effect on the lower body and spinal column. Sciatic pain is caused by a muscular contraction in the area, which can be relieved by muscle relaxants like methocarbamol.
There are also anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen to reduce swelling in this inflamed tissue. Analgesic medications can be taken to relieve pain, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Paracetamol is also an option for relief from sciatic nerve pain.
Medications often prescribed for sciatica are muscle relaxers, antidepressants (antidepressant pain medications), and even anti-seizure medication. These medications will likely help with symptoms like bodily aches, though not all patients will experience a significant amount of relief.
However, too many painkillers can cause drug dependency. It is not a good condition in terms of a patient's mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Hence, most patients want to steer away from taking too many painkillers.
Physical therapy can be an important component of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan because it often includes stretching and strengthening exercises to bulk up muscle tonicity so that movement becomes easier and pain is reduced. These exercises are also crucial for activating healthier joint responses in activities of daily living, which can tire out muscles quickly and put them at risk for injury.
Other benefits provided by physical therapy include:
- Goal-setting sessions that motivate patients to work hard on their behalf.
- Progressive strengthening that progresses from very light exercise to restorative movements.
- Gait retraining and reflexive extension exercises for back strength, avoiding low back impairment.
Surgery is often effective in relieving sciatica, but it may not be the first line of treatment. In general, there are risks to any surgery that must be considered and evaluated by a clinician.
Surgery for sciatica is not recommended if long-term pain relief from non-invasive treatment options like physical therapy and medication hasn't worked and if no other medical conditions are going untreated.
Surgery should also be considered when a spinal herniation or over-compressed nerve roots by another bone or when enlarged/bulging spinal discs cause chronic pain.
The location of the disc herniation or spinal stenosis can often make surgical intervention unrevealing, so it depends on the specifics of each case. Generally, however, there are some cases in which surgery successfully alleviates pressure on nerves to relieve back pain.
In fact, surgery may be better at relieving symptoms when they come from inflammation rather than compression (so if your sciatica is caused by an inflamed nerve instead of a compressed nerve).
Careful considerations must be conducted before undergoing any surgery. The problem with surgery is it is invasive. With invasive procedures, the risk of developing infection increases, and post-operative care should be considered.
Chiropractic care can be effective in the treatment of sciatica. The pain treatment is primarily physical and is based on manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilization, administration of certain adjunctive treatments such as ice or heat, or application of a hot-and-cold pack to a painful area. In some patients, it may also include exercises, stretching, and range-of-movement rehabilitation.
Chiropractic care is a branch of alternative medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. It can include pain relief from bone-related injuries such as sciatica. Chiropractors also prescribe to patients with non-musculoskeletal problems, such as asthma, to improve the general health of their patients.
Many people are unaware that chiropractic care is a safe and effective option for alleviating pain from bone-related injuries such as sciatica. Chiropractor recommends seeing a professional if you experience any type of back or neck pain that does not go away with pain medication.
Spinal Adjustment for Sciatica
A spinal adjustment is a chiropractic treatment where pressure on the spine with quick, gentle force promotes healing. It can help alleviate pain caused by many different factors, including inflammation or injury. Spinal adjustments are often performed in conjunction with other treatments such as massage therapy and exercise programs.
Most people with sciatica will have some pain relief after an adjustment, but they are unlikely to have a complete cure, so that other treatments may be necessary for conjunction. It's also important to consider what conditions led up to the diagnosis of sciatica to know which additional treatments or interventions might work best for you.
A spinal adjustment can be an effective treatment for many different causes of pain. Spinal adjustments may provide relief from muscle spasms, chronic back pain, sciatica, headaches, and more. It is important to consult with a chiropractor before receiving any type of care and always ask about the risks and benefits associated with treatments.
In terms of its side effects, a spinal adjustment may lead to an increase in pain, headaches, or even a herniated disk with symptoms of neck stiffness and tingling in the extremities if done incorrectly. Thus, ensure to have a qualified, experienced, and highly-trained chiropractor.
The most important thing you can do for your back pain is to be proactive about prevention. Remember that the body is an intricate system of many different parts that need attention for optimum health. Sciatica is a condition that can be treated with chiropractic care and spinal adjustment.
It is important to consult with a doctor before undergoing chiropractic treatment, including spinal adjustments. If you are interested in learning more about Oklahoma chiropractic services and treatments, don't hesitate to get in touch with us or visit our website today at www.owassochiropractor.com. Complete Care Chiropractic Clinic in Owasso,OK, is eager to help anyone who needs chiropractic care.