Sciatica is indicated by pain in the lower back or buttock that spreads out to the legs. The nerve pain felt by the patient varies in intensity and frequency – it can be moderate, severe or minimal and intermittent, constant or occasional.
Doctors of Chiropractic often deal with this medical condition and the pain their patients feel may be described as sharp and dull – like pins or needles are pricked through your nerves that cause electric shocks. Other symptoms that may be experienced by sciatica patients are numbness, burning and tingling sensations. This is why sciatica is often referred to as radiating pain, neuropathy or neuralgia.
However, it is important to keep in mind that sciatica is not a medical disorder, rather a symptom of a disorder.
Causes of Sciatica
When you have a nerve compression, that’s when you experience sciatica. Some examples of disorders that cause sciatica are lumbar spine subluxations, pregnancy and bulging discs. Non-spinal disorders such as diabetes and constipation may also cause you to feel sciatica. Such conditions can cause cramps or spasms in the muscles that pinch the sciatic nerve and lead to inflammation and pain. Sciatic nerve compression can further result to a loss of feeling or paralysis of limbs or group of muscles.
It is Essential to Have Proper Diagnosis for Sciatica
A chiropractor’s first step is to determine the cause of sciatica because there are many disorders that cause this pain. He or she will need to conduct a medical background check as well as a physical and neurological examination. You may need to undergo x-ray, MRI, CT scan and other tests to determine possible contradictions to spinal adjustments and other chiropractic treatments.
Chiropractic Approach for Sciatic Symptoms
The sole purpose of chiropractic treatment is to aid in the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Chiropractic is based on the principle that restricted spinal movement will lead to pain and improper body function. Another good thing about this treatment is that it’s drug-free and non-invasive.
They type of treatment given by a chiropractor will depend on the cause of a patient’s sciatica. The following are examples of treatments used to approach sciatica conditions.
- Ice cold therapy – this helps reduce inflammation and lessens the pain.
- Ultrasound – a gentle heat is created by the sound waves and it penetrates into the body’s tissues to improve the circulation of blood and prevent muscles spasms, cramping and stiffness.
- TENS – transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a box-like portable machine that stimulates the muscles. This machine has varying electrical current intensities that can control pain and lessen muscles spasms. Chiropractors, physical therapists and rehab professionals use this machine all the time.