Can Chiropractors Treat Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain can be severe and affect a patient’s health both physically and mentally. A few visits to a chiropractor can provide relief from the pain. A chiropractor will provide drug-free, non-invasive treatment that promotes the body’s natural healing abilities.
At McKenna Family Chiropractic I treat about 150 to 200 patients a year suffering from sciatica pain. Most of my patients usually find relief within 3 to 10 visits, depending upon age and level of activity, and work with me to create a long-term plan of adjustments, exercise, stretching, and nutrition to prevent future flare-ups.
In my office, I practice what is known as Thompson Drop Table technique. This is a gentle Chiropractic type of adjustment that allows me to adjust the pelvis, sacrum, and lumbar spine with minimal movement which is essential when treating acute sciatic pain. Sciatic pain can easily be exacerbated when an individual is moved excessively, torqued, or manipulated with too much force.
By utilizing gentle drop table adjustments, I can treat my patient with minimal movement. I personally feel this technique is the best way to treat Sciatic Neuritis. I will also utilize several minutes of cold laser therapy as an adjunct to help cool off any inflammation in the lower back region. My patient will also be instructed to ice down the lower back several times at home to help facilitate the healing process.
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain can be caused by a herniated disk, a bone spur, narrowing of the spine or spinal subluxation (misalignment). These can compress the nerve causing inflammation, numbness, and pain. In severe cases, sciatica can also cause weakness in the legs, bowels, and bladder. Most cases of sciatica although painful are mild.
Age, prolonged sitting, and obesity increase the risk of developing sciatica. If you fall into any of those categories it is especially important to exercise regularly to maintain a strong core and lower back and to maintain proper posture.
How Does Chiropractic Treat Pain from Sciatica?
The first thing a chiropractor will do is assess your condition through an examination, discuss with you lifestyle factors that may be the underlying cause, and review your medical history.
Based on your examination your chiropractor may recommend any combination of chiropractic adjustment, chiropractic massage therapy, spinal decompression, chiropractic exercises, lifestyle changes, or heat and cold therapies.
- Chiropractic adjustments are a series of spinal manipulations performed by a chiropractor to align vertebra, reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve, increase freedom of spinal movement, and ease muscle spasms.
- Chiropractic massage therapy induces deep muscle relaxation and prompts the release of endorphins which act as our body’s natural painkiller.
- Spinal decompression is a technique used to lengthen the spine and create more space between vertebrae. Compression of the spine is common as we age and the discs in our spine begin to dry out and become thinner.
- Chiropractic exercises may be recommended to alleviate pain by releasing the pressure of inflammation and tense muscles. Exercise may also be recommended to prevent sciatica from recurring in the future.
- Lifestyle changes may focus on the mechanical, meaning the positions you sleep, stand, or sit in. Lifestyle changes may also include your diet such as recommendations of which foods to avoid or enjoy more of to reduce inflammation.
- Heat and cold therapy may be utilized to provide quick relief from pain while the underlying root cause of sciatica is treated. Heat therapy soothes and helps to relieve tight muscles while cold therapy helps to reduce inflammation.
Do you suffer from Sciatica Pain in your legs, hips or lower back?
Schedule an assessment with Dr. Will so you can get back to walking, sleeping, and sitting without pain.