Sciatica is a common condition in which pain radiates from the lower part of the back downward into the leg. Sciatica can be caused by the “pinch” of nerves where they leave the spinal column.
Sciatica pain may feel dull or sharp, or it may feel like “needles and pins” or electric shocks. Sometimes it’s described as burning or tingling.
It generally only affects one leg, although in some cases there may be pain on both sides. Along with pain, there may also be numbness or weakness in the leg and foot.
Since there are several possible causes, the first step is diagnosis. Physical examinations are used as well as diagnostic testing such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and nerve conduction tests may be utilized to determine the cause of the condition.
Chiropractic treatment often provides good results. The type of sciatica treatment suggested by your chiropractor depends on the specific cause of your sciatic pain.
Chiropractic Spinal adjustment is one of the most common treatments for sciatica. Spinal adjustments can improve the movement of the spinal joints and help restore misaligned vertebra back into proper position, and so relieve the irritation of nerves.
Spinal adjustment also helps soothe irritable nerves responsible for the inflammation, pain and muscle spasms of sciatica. This sciatica treatment generally isn’t painful.
Chiropractic doctors learn many different spinal adjustment techniques that can be applied for a variety of situations, including in this office, computerized chiropractic adjustment.
The mastery of these various techniques requires skill, experience, and years of training.
In fact, the chiropractic spinal adjustment is the hallmark treatment which distinguishes a doctor of chiropractic from other types of health care specialists.
In addition to the Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment, sciatica treatment often involves a combination of therapies which may include cold/ice treatment, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, TENS, exercise or acupuncture.
Cold/ice therapy can reduce inflammation and soothe sciatica pain, in the same way that the application of cold to the body helps ease many other kinds of musculoskeletal and nerve pain.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to create gentle heating deep within inflamed tissues. Ultrasound treatment can increase circulation and reduce pain, muscle spasms, cramping and stiffness.
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) relies on an electronic device that stimulates muscles through special pulses of electric energy.
TENS units are small and portable electrical stimulation devices designed for home use. Chiropractors may also use larger, more powerful electrical stimulation units in-office units to help control sciatica pain and ease muscle spasms.
Of course, since sciatica is painful and affects people in so many ways, chiropractic doctors often work closely with other health care specialists with treatments combined in order to achieve the best results.