Sciatica is a condition that causes a lot of people pain and discomfort on a regular basis. Although it can be unpleasant to live with, all hope is not lost.
What Exactly Is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It is a bilateral nerve that runs from the lower part of your lumbar spine (low back) and can extend all the way down the back of the buttocks, hamstrings, knees and into the feet. It usually affects one side at a time. When the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed, it is known as “sciatica.” The pain is most often felt down the back of the leg(s), and symptoms include: sharp, shooting, tingling/numbness, weakness and difficulty moving the leg/foot (foot drop). It is derived from spinal nerves L4 to S3.
The sciatic nerve provides sensation to the skin of the lower leg and foot and even branches to control the feeling in your toes. The most common causes of sciatica include the following: injury to the spine causing a spondylolisthesis (a vertebra shifting forward), spinal disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis,and piriformis syndrome ( piriformis muscle is a muscle that runs near the sciatic nerve deep in the buttock/gluteal region that commonly can become tight due to: sitting for long periods of time (at a desk), lack of stretching, trauma and overuse).
How Can A Chiropractor Help With Sciatica?
Chiropractors are extensively trained to diagnose, find and treat sciatica by locating what is causing the irritation to the sciatic nerve and relieving that pressure. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques and therapies in order to do this. Most common sciatica treatment includes spinal manipulations (adjustments). A gentle chiropractic adjustment is administered to gain motion in the restricted joints in order to restore misaligned vertebrae to their proper position in the spine. Chiropractors also use a spinal decompression technique in order to gently stretch the spine to take pressure off of the spinal discs. The spinal discs are gel-like cushions between bones in your spine that help with shock absorption.
Over time, the spinal discs absorb a lot of wear and tear causing them to degenerate or dehydrate, resulting in a bulging or herniated disc.This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Spinal decompression will help take pressure off nerves which re-hydrates the fluids into the discs so they can heal. Another form of therapy that chiropractors use to treat sciatic pain is Ice/cold therapy. This will help reduce inflammation to the area in order to help relieve the crowded pressure on the sciatic nerve.
We Can Help Treat Sciatica
At Taylor Chiropractic & Wellness, we take a very involved approach in finding out the true cause of your pain. We will take x-rays to ensure this is the true cause of your pain. Spinal decompression will help to relieve the pressure on the spinal disc and an adjustment will help to regain motion in the restricted joints.