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The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, starting in the lower spine, moving through the pelvis area, then branching out to travel down both legs. It is responsible for transmitting information to the lower leg (calf, ankle, back of knee), as well as providing sensation to the sole of the foot, the ankle, the back of the thigh and the entire lower leg. But when you start to feel pain that travels from the lower back to the legs, there’s a good chance you’ve developed sciatica.
Sciatica is the inflammation of this nerve. Characterized by lower back pain and leg pain, sciatica usually results from a pinched nerve in your lower back and/or a muscle spasm in the piriformis spasm in the gluteal region. This pinched nerve can come from a misalignment in the lumbar spine that creates in a bulging disc, muscle spasms and inflammation. The piriformis spasms can also be caused by a misalignment in the spine, creating a reflexive muscle spasm and inflammation. Other contributing factors to sciatica may include prolonged sitting, congenital anomalies and systemic conditions.
Luckily, chiropractic care is an excellent option for the treatment of sciatica. At Dynamic Chiros, our team is highly trained to use adjustments and other techniques to help provide relief from sciatic pain in a safe and effective manner.
Using an adjustment (as well as traction and rehabilitation exercises), your chiropractor will use special maneuvers to realign the spine. In doing so, the goal is to rake the pressure of the sciatic nerve, and it’s not uncommon to feel immediate relief.
Other treatments a chiropractor may employ to treat sciatica include the use of a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device (TENS), which use a small electric current to calm spasming muscles, as well as to boost the level of endorphins in the body. Ultrasound therapy may also be used — this warms the area from which the pain stems and increases circulation, a combination that can reduce muscle tension and swelling.
Your doctor may also opt for ice therapy in order to reduce inflammation and help control sciatic pain. Massage therapy is also an option, and a 2014 study discovered that deep-tissue massage may be just as effective at relieving lower back pain as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.
While most people feel some relief immediately, full relief will most likely not occur in a single session. At Dynamic Chiros, we’ll conduct an examination to help us fully understand your particular sciatica case in order to put forth a treatment plan that’s right for you. Once we have you on the right path, you’ll see the results you’ve been looking for in order to return to the life you had before the sciatic pain took hold.
One of the initial benefits of using chiropractic care to treat sciatica is that the approach is conservative. While medical doctors tend to treat symptoms of sciatica with prescription medication (muscle relaxers, pain relievers, cortisone injections, etc.), a chiropractor treats the underlying causes to help relieve the pain without drugs.
Plus, with medical doctors, surgery is on the table as an option. And once you’ve undergone surgery, there is no returning to a level of function you’d consider “normal.” Chiropractic care encourages the body’s own internal healing process, allowing you time to heal more naturally.
There is solid research that supports the effectiveness of chiropractic care in the treatment of sciatica. Spine magazine published a study in 2006 that showed how chiropractic adjustments were able to help relieve sciatic pain. And another study, published in 2010, showed that 60 percent of sciatica patients (who were unable to gain relief by using other therapies) experienced the same level of relief due to chiropractic care as did those who eventually had surgery.
At Dynamic Chiros, we fully understand how chiropractic care and sciatica go hand in hand. In fact, in all our time as practicing chiropractors, we have never come across another treatment modality that is more effective at treating sciatica than a combination of adjustments and other therapies. We belief chiropractic care is especially effective because sciatica usually involves a bone and muscle component, which is our area of expertise. This allows us to take an integrated approach to treatment by realigning the bones and addressing the muscle component with muscle therapy, massage and stretching.
If you are ready to start effective treatment for your sciatica, give us a call today to schedule a consultation. You could be one adjustment away from immediate relief of sciatic pain.
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