So you have been diagnosed with sciatica, now what?
What is sciatica? Sciatica refers to the pain, burning and tingling you are most likely experiencing in one of your legs. It’s caused by pressure or injury to the sciatic nerve, a nerve that branches from the spinal cord through the hips and down the back of each leg. This nerve controls many of the muscles in the legs and is responsible for feeling in the lower body, which is why you are experiencing so much discomfort. There is good news, your discomfort can be treated. You can do what many people do and try pain relieving medications, physical therapy or massage as treatment options. These options may be beneficial, depending on a variety of factors, but there is one other option that may prove to be the most effective when treating sciatica – chiropractic treatment.
Unlike the other treatment options, chiropractic treatment is designed to treat the causative effects of sciatica, not just the sciatica pain. This is a key distinction between the treatment options because sciatica is not a condition on its own; it is a symptom of another medical problem. Thus, the treatment needs to get at the root of what is causing the sciatica in order to fully treat it, which is why chiropractic treatment seems to be the most effective option.
So now you may be wondering – what will the chiropractor do to help you? The chiropractor may use a variety of methods to treat your sciatica. The first method is ice/cold therapy. This will reduce inflammation and pain. A second treatment method that may be employed is ultrasound. Ultrasound is a gentle heat created by sound waves. These waves penetrate deep into tissues increasing circulation. This increased circulation leads to reduced inflammation, stiffness and pain. A third option for a chiropractor is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS. TENS is a muscle stimulating machine that uses electrical currents to relieve pain. Finally, a chiropractor may use spinal adjustment. Spinal adjustments are the core of chiropractic care and form the basis for chiropractors’ principle guideline – restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function. Therefore, chiropractors will focus much of their treatment around the adjustment of the spinal cord. These adjustments free restricted movement of the spine and return misaligned vertebra to their proper position. Once the spine is realigned, nerve irritability responsible for causing inflammation, burning, tingling and pain related to sciatica can be reduced. Furthermore, spinal adjustment gets to the root of what is causing the sciatica and treats its underlining cause.
The main goal of chiropractic treatment is to increase the body’s ability to heal itself. It is generally the most safe, painless and proven to be effective. It can relieve the pain, burning and tingling caused by sciatica. It can increase your movement and improve your functioning. Sciatica may be robbing you of your comfort and mobility but chiropractic treatment can help and may be the best option when dealing with sciatica.