If You Have Sciatica Pain, a Chiropractor Can Help

Sciatica affects the sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg.

What are the symptoms?

• Pain in the leg or rear that is worse when sitting
• Burning or tingling running down the leg
• Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
• A constant pain on one side of the rear
• A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Often times, pain travels from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg.

The pain may also reach the foot or toes. For some people, the pain can be severe.  For others, the pain might be infrequent and irritating, but it can get worse.

What triggers sciatica? Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.

Other common causes:

• Spinal stenosis, narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back.
• Degenerative disc disease affecting the discs that cushion the vertebrae.
• Spondylolisthesis, when one vertebra slips forward over another one.
• Pregnancy, which can add a severe strain on the spine.

Additional irritants: excess weight, not exercising on a regular basis, high heels, or sleeping on a mattress that is too soft.
Sciatic nerve compression may result in the loss of feeling, paralysis of a single limb or group of muscles, and insomnia.

Diagnosis of Sciatica Is Critical.  A Chiropractor examines the patient and reviews medical history to determine what is causing the patient's sciatica pain. Chiropractic treatment is based on the principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function. Chiropractic care helps the body heal itself with non-invasive (non-surgical), drug-free treatment.

Sciatica Treatments Used by Chiropractors:

Ice/Cold Therapy reduces inflammation and helps control sciatic pain.

Ultrasound is gentle heat created by sound waves that penetrates deep into tissues. It increases circulation and reduces muscle spasms, cramping, swelling, stiffness, and pain.

Adjustments (Spinal Manipulations).  Spinal adjustments are at the core of Chiropractic care. Manipulation frees restricted movement of the spine and helps to restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position in the spine.  Adjustment techniques vary from a swift high velocity thrust to those that combine minimal force and gentle pressure. Mastery of each technique is an art that requires great skill and precision. Spinal manipulation is the treatment that differentiates chiropractic care from other medical disciplines.

Story Credit: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/sciatica-symptoms