According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.” This definition clarifies that sciatica is a symptom of an underlying condition. It is often only one leg that is affected and the symptoms typically last for no more than a few days to weeks. Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont has effectively treated many patients suffering from sciatica with chiropractic care.
The pain that comes from sciatic nerve compression usually appears suddenly and can vary from minimal to intense and occasional to constant. Sometimes coughing, sneezing or sitting for an extended period will make your sciatica more pronounced. Although shooting pain down the backside of one leg is the hallmark of sciatica, numbness and tingling sensations can also result from it.
Sciatica usually affects middle-aged people and if you’ve experienced it once, it is unfortunately more likely to return. Some common causes of sciatica are herniated discs, bone spurs, pregnancy and piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is situated directly over the sciatic nerve and its main job is to rotate your hips. If this muscle becomes strained from arthritis, compensating for different leg lengths or by a fall, it can spasm and pinch the underlying sciatic nerve. Less common causes are spinal tumors, injuries like fractures, nerve damage from diabetes and infections.
During the initial evaluation, your chiropractor will want to determine if your pain is being caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve and may ask you to squat, walk on your heels or toes, or raise your leg without bending the knee because these motions often accentuate sciatica. If sciatica is the diagnosis, they will then try to determine the cause to develop the most effective course of treatment.
Types of Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
- Adjustment- Spinal manipulations will reduce the inflammation, spasms and pain caused when the sciatic nerve is irritated.
- Ultrasound- The ultrasonic waves reach deep into tissue to improve circulation and reduce swelling, cramping and stiffness in the problem area.
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)- Adjustable electric currents stimulate the affected muscle to reduce spasms and help manage associated pain.
Why wait for sciatica to resolve itself when you can get immediate relief from the chiropractic treatments available at the Cafe of Life in Longmont? Call us today to begin healing!