Have you been experiencing a stabbing pain that extends from your lower back down to your legs? If so, you are probably suffering from sciatica. It is a common symptom affecting more than three million people in the United States every year.
Sciatica is the name given to pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is the longest nerve in your body, traveling from your lower back and splits right down to your hips, buttocks, legs, feet, and toes. It provides strength and sensation to your lower extremities. Any impairment to your sciatic nerve can lead to muscle weakness, numbness, tingling sensation in the feet and toes, and pain. This pain can range in severity, and sitting for long periods could aggravate it.
One of the common causes of sciatica is herniated or slipped disks. Other causes include lumbar spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spine tumors, infection, and spine injury.
Chiropractors work on improving the alignment of your bones to promote nerve integrity. If you have sciatica, your chiropractor will treat the condition based on its severity and what’s causing the pain. A treatment plan for sciatica usually consists of one or more options. These may include a combination of the following:
Ice Therapy. Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation on a swollen nerve. It involves placing an ice bag on the painful nerve at various intervals. It works by lowering blood flow in the affected area, which can significantly decrease swelling.
Spinal Manipulation. This method is one of the most common chiropractic adjustments used to treat sciatica. Spinal manipulation involves the use of hands to apply a controlled force to a joint of your spine. It helps by correcting partial dislocation of a spinal vertebra and in restoring movement. The amount of energy applied varies, but the sudden thrust shifts the joints more than it would on its own. Do not be surprised if you hear popping noises similar to cracking your knuckles.
Massage Therapy. Another effective way to manage sciatica pain is through the use of massage therapy. Massage is known to stimulate the release of endorphins. These are brain chemicals that can improve the feeling of well-being by reducing pain and increasing pleasure. Deep tissue massage, in particular, can be very effective at building your joint’s range of motion. Your chiropractor can achieve this by applying sustained pressure using slow, intense strokes to target the inner seams of your muscles and connective tissues.
Other treatments for sciatica may also include ultrasound, myofascial release, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
Chiropractic care generally offers a holistic program to keep you healthy. The body should work as a unit, so optimal functioning can be difficult when pain or discomfort is present. Choosing the right chiropractor for you does not have to feel overwhelming.
If you are looking for an effective multidisciplinary approach to your sciatic nerve pain, visit Eisman Chiropractic Clinic in Detroit, Michigan, today. Call us now at (313) 395-0088 to schedule an appointment.