Chiropractic care for Sciatica
Treatment of sciatica with Chiropractic is safe and doesn’t use medications or surgery.
Sciatica refers to pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. It’s very important to have a full neurological examination and x-rays (if clinically justified) to determine the exact cause of the sciatic nerve pain.
What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower part of the spine, through the buttock muscles and down the back of the leg to the sole of the foot. Often patients will describe a pain in the top of the buttock, in the back of the thigh or the whole way down the back of the leg. The pain varies from a shooting pain, pins and needles, numbness or searing pain and it can also be associated with a limp due to the nerve not supplying the muscles properly. Patients describe dragging their foot or inability to climb stairs.
The Sciatic nerve is one of the biggest in the body and sciatica is where the nerve is trapped by something in the low back or further down in the buttock.
Usually there will be one position that gives most relief, for example patients say that sitting is worse than standing and that they have to stand up when the pain in the leg gets too bad.
We also hear that patients have tried everything; medications, ice, heat, hot baths but nothing alleviates the pain.
Causes of sciatica?
Sciatica can be caused by pressure on the nerve from a disc in the lower back. This is something that happens over time from poor posture or sedentary positions which then wears the discs, causing them to bulge or in more serious cases, prolapse (slipped disc). The disc then presses on the sciatic nerve and can be extremely painful and debilitating.
As the sciatic nerve passes through the buttock muscle (piriformis muscle), this can become inflamed and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
How do i know if i have Sciatica?
Sciatica symptoms can include:
Pain in one leg, usually the back, or the buttock
Numbness in the leg or sole of the foot
Weakness in the leg, ankle or big toe
Lower back pain
Pain when using the toilet or coughing
The best way to diagnose and treat is to contact a trained Chiropractor who is
experienced at dealing with sciatica everyday.
How to treat Sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by any pressure on the sciatic nerve. However it’s very important to have a full neurological examination and x-rays (if clinically justified) to determine the exact cause of the sciatic nerve pain.
For clients with Sciatica we use specific spinal adjustments. The adjustments relieve pressure on the nerve from the disc, joint or muscle. This can promote ease of movement, proper balance and walking. Massage therapy can reduce inflammation around the nerve, cold therapy around the low back will also reduce inflammation.
Each case is different and some patients take longer than others,. Your Chiropractor will be able to advise you on a likely prognosis and what to expect.
Your Chiropractor will prescribe you preventative sciatica exercises to relieve pressure on the nerve, you can do these at home to promote recovery.
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