If you have sciatica pain, your symptoms may vary from a slight tingling discomfort to flat-out excruciating pain. If you've already talked to your doctor about your condition and still can't get any relief, it might be time to read into the cause of your sciatica and how a chiropractor might be able to relieve your pain.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica gets its name from the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down to your foot. Sciatica, the condition associated with lower back pain, leg pain, tingling, and a pins-and-needles sensation, is caused by pressure on this nerve at the spine.
This pressure has a variety of causes:
- Chronic Inflammation: Typically a symptom of another disease or condition, inflammation can cause tissues to swell and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Misaligned Vertebrae: When vertebrae do not line up perfectly, they can jut into the nerve or lean on it.
- Herniated Discs: When a disc in your back is pushed out of place, it can press against the sciatic nerve. It can also cause inflammation.
- Piriformis Syndrome: The piriformis muscle is a hip muscle that runs above the sciatic nerve. If it is injured in a fall or by hip arthritis, it can develop painful spasms that trigger sciatica by squeezing the nerve.
How Can A Chiropractor Help You?
Your spine affects all of the major nerves in your body, so when it comes to nerve health, proper spinal alignment is paramount. Chiropractic therapy works to realign slipped discs and displaced vertebrae slowly and gently over the course of several treatment sessions. When your vertebrae and discs are correctly aligned, the chance of putting pressure on the sciatic nerve is greatly decreased.
A chiropractor's goal is not just to put discs and vertebrae in their rightful places, however, but also to improve overall flexibility of the back and legs. Improved flexibility and range of motion can both help to reduce the risk of inflammation, which in turn reduces the effects of your sciatica. Chiropractic exercises, like with Heuser Chiropractic, to increase flexibility may also help heal damaged piriformis muscles, reducing the frequency and intensity of spasms.
Your chiropractor will tailor a treatment plan fit for your specific condition. While spinal adjustments are the most famous and popular tool of the chiropractic trade, your chiropractor may suggest ice, heat, and even electrical current therapy to help relive your pain. You may need to try several options until you find the right treatment, but the process of trial and error is much safer under the watchful eye of an expert in chiropractic care.
Back pain can be debilitating, and for some, leg pain from sciatica can make walking impossible. If you want to ease your pain and regain your original range of motion, it might be time to contact your local chiropractor. You could be surprised by the difference you feel after treatment.