In the body, the nerve that runs from the lumber part (the lower back) to the legs is what we call the sciatic nerve. It’s the largest in the body and damage to it results in a syndrome called sciatica. Sciatica is an indicator of an underlying medical problem in your lower back. It’s often described as pain, tingle, and numbness in the leg. Sciatica rarely affects both legs and thus you should expect pain to be one-sided.
The unfortunate thing is that sciatic nerve pain worsens with sitting. It also becomes hard to stand, walk or move the affected leg. In severe cases, though rare, sciatic nerve pain may lead to a neurological condition, a bowel dysfunction or a bladder complication. This happens when sciatic is left untreated for long. The good news though is that you can treat it using chiropractic practices.
Before we look at the role that chiropractic care plays in treating sciatic nerve pain, it’s important to know what causes it. Unlike most pains, sciatic nerve pain is not caused by a single injury or episode. It normally develops from repeated events and becomes complicated over time. For this reason, it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact time that the symptoms started to manifest.
In general, the major causes of this debilitating nerve condition are:
- Repetitive motion – When you twist your back often, there is the risk of triggering sciatic nerve pain. Also, experts argue that driving for long or carrying heavy things repeatedly can be a potential risk for suffering sciatica.
- Lower back infection – Though this is rare, a serious infection to the lower back may affect the sciatic nerve. If the nerve is damaged by the infection in any way, there is always the chance of suffering sciatica.
- Bone spurs – When bone spurs exist in the vertebra, they can collide and this may lead to abnormal Such growth has the power to interfere with the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica.
- Physical discomforts – This includes wearing high heels for long, lying on an extremely soft mattress, and accumulating excess weight. All these issues are distress to the spine and thus a potential trigger of sciatica.
- Slip disc – When a given vertebra disk shifts forward, such a condition is referred to as slip disc. In case the shift occurs in the lumbar area, sciatica results and its highlighted by a painful sensation.
- Pregnancy – Pregnancy normally results in excess weight directed to the spine, leading to its compression.
- Disc disease – When a degenerative disc disease occurs on any part of the spine, the discs become less flexible. Hence, they are not able to cushion the spine well or to repair themselves as expected. In the long run, symptoms of sciatic nerve pain start showing up.
- Spinal tumors – A growth in the spine is a serious cause of sciatica. This is because the more the tumor grows, the more it’s compressed. In the end, the sciatic nerve becomes damaged, resulting in terrible pain and discomfort.
Can Chiropractic Treatment Help?
While there are so many treatment options for sciatic nerve pain such as pain medications, anti-inflammatory applications, and physical therapy, a majority of patients are preferring chiropractic treatments. So, what does a chiropractic doctor (a chiropractor) do to treat sciatica? Ideally, a chiropractor is a musculoskeletal expert. Dr. Hinz at Cool Springs Chiropractic uses hands-on techniques to decompress or realign compressed nerves to give you relief from sciatica. So, yes, a chiropractor can help immensely in treating sciatic nerve pain.
As a specialized doctor, a chiropractor is not just interested in addressing the symptoms but to also get into the root cause of the problem. In this case, the first thing that a chiropractor will do once you demonstrate the symptoms of sciatic nerve pain is to do a complete spinal evaluation on you. The evaluation features CT scans and X-rays. The tests are able to confirm the diagnosis and to show the underlying issue. After the evaluation, the chiropractor will perform s spinal adjustment technique, also known as spinal manipulation, on you.
Looking at the highlighted causes of sciatic nerve pain, it’s clear that they result in either the compression or misalignment of the sciatic nerve. That’s why chiropractors purpose to decompress and realign the nerve. This is what spinal manipulation is all about. The chiropractor uses hands to adjust the spine. In the end, spinal manipulation achieves the following goals:
- Reduces sciatic nerve irritability and pain
- Minimizes muscle spasms and inflammation in the affected part
However, it’s important to note that spinal manipulation is a very delicate procedure that should only be performed by trained and licensed chiropractic doctors. Any wrong move may cause serious damage to your spine.
Other Proven Chiropractic Treatments
Besides spinal manipulation, there are other techniques that Dr. Hinz at Cool Springs Chiropractic can use to manage sciatic nerve pain. They include:
- Hot-Cold Therapy – Here, both heat and ice are applied to the affected part in an alternating The ice is used to numb the painful area while the heat is used to stimulate blood flow.
- Ultrasounds – The aim of an ultrasound is to build sound waves for improving blood circulation in the affected leg. This significantly helps to reduce muscle stiffness, spasm, and cramps.
- Decompression Therapy – In some cases, a chiropractor may prefer to use a decompressing machine instead of hands to correct a spinal compression case. The technique is called decompression therapy. It stretches your vertebra to improve its mobility and flexibility.
- TENS – Standing for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, TENS is a treatment involving a small machine that passes an electric current through the muscles to stimulate them. This ideally soothes local inflammation as well as muscle spasm.
- Massage Therapy – A chiropractor may also massage the affected area to promote fast healing. Through the massage, blood flow is stimulated as the sciatic nerve is decompressed. This can also be used as a preventive approach for the condition.
It’s irrefutable that sciatic nerve pain is a serious nerve condition that calls for immediate treatment following diagnosis. Contact Cool Springs Chiropractic today to get started on the natural roadway to healing.