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Sciatica: What a Pain in My Rear!

By Debra Rodzinak

Sciatica is a common pain in the lower back or buttocks caused from the sciatic nerve that travels down to both legs. The pain can vary from mild to severe and can occur occasionally to constantly. Symptoms of sciatica include a dull, achy, toothache-type pain that can mimic an electric shock. Other symptoms of sciatica include burning, numbness, or a tingling sensation from the lower back down the legs. Chiropractors often successfully treat symptoms of sciatica.

Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. Several disorders are known “culprits” of sciatica: Misalignment of the lumbar spine area, herniated or slipped discs, pregnancy, tumors, diabetes, or even sitting on a large wallet in your back pocket!

Another cause of sciatica is piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle begins at the spine, connects to the thighbone, and helps the hip to rotate. Since the sciatic nerve runs under the piriformis muscle, any injury to this muscle can pinch the sciatic nerve causing pain and inflammation to the nerve. Any compression to the sciatic nerve can cause a loss in feeling, paralysis of muscles, and even insomnia.

Diagnosis of Sciatica

Many different disorders cause sciatica. A formal diagnosis of sciatica involves a through physical and neurological exam. MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or tests involving nerve conduction help the chiropractor determine possible entrapments to the nerve, spinal adjustments that need to be made, and other chiropractic therapies that might be performed to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica

Chiropractic treatment’s aim is to assist the body to heal itself through the use of adjustments and other non-surgical, drug-free methods. The cause of the sciatica plays a crucial role in the treatment plan. Treatments can include:

  • Ice therapy – reduces inflammation of the piriformis muscle and sciatic nerve
  • Ultrasound – sound waves create low heat that penetrates deep into muscle tissue increasing circulation.
  • TENS unit – a small, portable muscle stimulating machine that focuses electrical current to reduce muscle spasms and control pain
  • Adjustments – Spinal manipulation that frees the spine from restriction and helps realign vertebrae in the spine to their proper position and reduce nerve irritation.

With many people suffering with sciatica symptoms, the number of patients seeking a solution from chiropractic clinics like The Joint is growing. If you have sciatic nerve pain and need a chiropractic service, visit the professionals at The Joint today. Don’t worry about insurance hassles, doctor referrals, or appointment times. Just drop in at The Joint to get a professional evaluation of your sciatic nerve ailments from one of our chiropractors. 

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