Understanding sciatica and how to manage it with chiropractic care
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica nerve pain is experienced by close to 40% of adults. It typically manifests as pain in the lower back or buttocks that radiates down to the legs or feet. This pain can be felt in one or both legs and originates from irritation of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is located in the lower back and runs down the back of each leg. The sciatic nerve is the thickness nerve in the body where it exits the pelvis and enters the legs. The pain can be mild to severe and can even be debilitating at times.
If you’re experiencing radiating pain starting in your lower back that works its way down the back of the legs, this could be a sign you have sciatica. Other signs include numbness, and tingling and weakness in the legs or feet. You might experience a constant pain on one side of the rear or a shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up. Numbness or pins and needles sensations that can occur with sciatica is also due to the pressure on nerves or the blood vessels that supply nerves. Patients often report difficulty standing up or walking and that the pain worsens when sitting down. The degree of sciatic pain you experience is mainly based on the location of the pinched nerve.
What Causes Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the single largest nerve in the body and is made up of individual nerve roots. These nerve roots branch out from the spine in the lower back and then combine to form the “sciatic nerve.”
The condition of sciatica is caused by common lower back problems such as a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis. Sciatica symptoms are triggered when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated at or near its point of origin.
There are many possible causes of sciatica which is why symptoms vary in severity. Here are the most common causes:
The most common and likely cause of sciatica is subluxations, which occur when the vertebrae in the spine are misaligned. These misalignments can cause restrictions or pressure on different nerves. Subluxations are very easily treatable with chiropractic care.
Herniated or bulging discs
The padding or discs between the vertebrae in your back can be damaged which irritates the sciatic nerve. Discs bulging or herniation can be the result of long standing subluxations in the lumbar spine that went uncorrected for many years.
The piriformis muscle can be damaged in accidents such as a fall. If the muscle experiences a strain in the fall, it may affect the ability of the sciatic nerve to function. Tightness or cramping of this muscle can also trigger pain from the sciatic nerve.
Pregnancy causes significant changes in a woman’s body that can also create changes in the alignment of the pelvis and spine. In some cases, the pressure on the spine and pelvis caused by the pregnancy may irritate the sciatic nerve.
Using Chiropractic Care To Treat Sciatica
Chiropractic care offers some of the safest and simplest treatments for sciatica. If you think you are experiencing sciatica pain, you should meet with a licensed chiropractor to receive a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. At Moss Chiropractic in Olney, MD, our team is experienced in helping patients with sciatica. After a consultation with us, you will have a better understanding of what type of results you should expect from chiropractic treatment.
Once we have worked through a diagnosis and decided on the best options for you, you can begin your treatment plan immediately.
Your treatment plan will be a safe, non-invasive, non-addictive, alternative to dangerous prescription medications or over-the-counter pain medications (OTCs), which are commonly prescribed to help manage sciatica pain.
What will be in my treatment plan?
Your treatment plan will include:
1- Spinal Adjustments
The chiropractic adjustments you’ll receive will reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine. This will reduce inflammation in your body, which is important to healing and pain relief. By increasing joint mobility we’ll also improve your nervous system function and spinal health, which will reduce your sciatica pain.
Along with your chiropractic adjustments you will be given specific mirror image posture exercises to help correct as much of the functional pathology as possible while continually providing relief of your symptoms.
3- ADL Training
Additionally we will review your activities of daily living and make recommendations to improve your long term outcome especially when you are at home or at the office.
4- Foot scan
A digital foot scan may also be performed to help stabilize gait and stance, which will aid in recovering faster.
How Chiropractic Care Helps Sciatica
Each chiropractic treatment is gentle and non-invasive, focusing on releasing muscle tension and easing any discomfort you are experiencing.
The benefits of treatment can include:
Inflammation is a common side effect of any type of injury. This is because your immune system becomes activated to help heal the area of your body that is misaligned. While some inflammation is an indicator of the body’s natural healing process, too much can cause serious side-effects on the body. By increasing circulation throughout your body, chiropractic care can help calm inflammation which will avoid overwhelming the body and becoming a chronic problem.
Reducing Your Pain
Chiropractic care can help your body to release more pain-reducing hormones, which can reduce your need for pain relief. Restoring proper alignment of the body's musculoskeletal structure will enable your body to heal itself without costly surgery or dangerous medication. Chiropractic treatment provides pain relief by improving your range and quality of motion naturally.
Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion
Sciatica reduces your ability to carry out all the activities of daily life without pain. Getting chiropractic adjustments will mobilize your spine and help restore your body’s flexibility allowing you to enjoy increased activity and a more active lifestyle.
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The Moss Chiropractic experience and patient stories
At Moss Chiropractic, we help you find long-term relief through personalized treatment. Book your first session with us today to find the sciatica pain relief you need. Click here to read stories from our patients who have found relief.
Schedule Your First Session
Drs. Raymond and Gabriella Moss provide a comprehensive approach to your healthcare and pain management in order to get back to feeling your best self and start living your life optimally again. They provide the highest quality care for patients in Olney, Aspen Hill, Rockville, and Norbeck, Maryland. They will provide you with a personalized approach to treatment that they have developed after working with patients for over 30 years.
Monday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday 11:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM