Chiropractic Care for Sciatica Pain
Sciatica, or pain along the sciatic nerve, most often afflicts people between the ages of 40 and 50. The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back down into your lower leg, and it is one of the largest nerves in your body. A variety of different circumstances can affect the sciatic nerve, but the most common is regular wear on the lower spine. This wear and tear disrupts the nerve and produces pain, numbness, weakness, burning sensations, and tingling. You may experience any of these symptoms along any part of the nerve, from the lower back, through one of your buttocks, down the leg, and even all the way to your feet and toes. Any or all of these symptoms together are classified as sciatica.
Chiropractic Treatment Techniques
Since sciatica pain most often results from wear on the spine, chiropractic treatment may resolve the problems that contribute to it.
Your doctor and chiropractor will use a number of methods to determine the exact cause for your sciatica. These include:
- Patient history: Your doctor will ask when the pain started and what factors contribute toward it. For example, you may be asked what movements or actions exacerbate the pain or reduce it.
- Physical and neurological exams: In order to pinpoint the cause of your sciatica, your doctor will likely have you perform a few exercises, such as lying on a table and raising your leg up straight. Various exercises and exams will allow your doctor to test your reflexes, strength, and sensitivity.
- X-ray, CT scan, and MRI: If you undergo treatment for a few weeks and still experience severe sciatica, then it may be caused by more serious problems, such as a tumor or an infection. Your doctor may then use imaging technology such as x-rays or an MRI to determine whether there is a more serious issue involve
Upon diagnosing the cause, treatment can then begin. Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive and does not have the side effects that you would get with drugs or surgery. It is designed to reduce inflammation and pain associated with sciatica while enabling your body to sort out the causes on its own. If these noninvasive methods do not work after six to eight weeks, then you may have another issue that requires more aggressive treatment. Usually, sciatica patients respond well to chiropractic care, so it is well worth setting an appointment with your chiropractor to get your discomfort resolved.