Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back down through the buttocks and legs. It typically results from the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve and is commonly observed in patients dealing with herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or spinal misalignment. Chiropractic care can potentially help with sciatica, depending on the underlying cause of the condition.
Common Causes of Sciatica
- Herniated Disc: A herniated or slipped disc occurs when the soft inner portion of a spinal disc protrudes through the tough outer layer and presses against the adjacent nerve roots, including the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis is referred to a condition where the narrowing of the spinal canal puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, including the sciatic nerve.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: As we age, the intervertebral discs in the spine can degenerate, leading to a loss of cushioning between the vertebrae. This can cause the discs to bulge or herniate and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal Injuries or Trauma: Traumatic events like a car accident or a fall can lead to fractures or dislocations of the spine, which may impinge on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica.
- Muscle Imbalances: Muscular imbalances or weaknesses in the back, hips, or core can affect the alignment and stability of the spine. This can lead to abnormal stress on the sciatic nerve and contribute to sciatica.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the growing uterus can exert pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica symptoms in some women.
- Obesity: Excess weight can put additional stress on the spine, leading to conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis, which may cause sciatica.
Chiropractic Care for Sciatica
Chiropractors use various techniques to manipulate the spine, joints, and soft tissues to alleviate pain and improve overall function. In the case of sciatica, chiropractic care may involve:
- Spinal adjustments
Chiropractors use manual techniques to apply controlled force to specific areas of the spine. These adjustments aim to realign the spine, reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve, and improve nerve function.
Gentle stretching and movement of the affected joints and muscles may be used to improve mobility, reduce muscle tension, and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. In addition to treatment provided during the appointment, your chiropractor may suggest some exercises to try at home to speed up your recovery process.
- Bodywork Massage
This type of massage focuses on releasing tension from the soft tissue. With the help of techniques like myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and craniosacral therapy, chiropractors aim to promote relaxation and pain relief from various conditions, including sciatica.
- Neuromuscular Massage + Stretching
A combination of neuromuscular massage and stretching performed under the supervision of a trained chiropractor is a great solution for chronic pain and stress-related disorders. In this technique, your chiropractor relies on soft tissue manipulation in focus areas to restore the natural movement of joints.
- Dry Needling & Cupping
Dry Needling & Cupping is another technique commonly used to treat pain and muscle dysfunction. Although it is based on Western anatomy and physiology, this technique is similar to acupuncture in some ways. Unlike acupuncture, the needles are not left in place for extended periods.
Chiropractors You Can Trust
If you’ve ever dealt with sciatica, you know how challenging it can be to go through a daily routine while dealing with the pain. If you or a loved one are interested in holistic treatment for sciatica pain, Flex Spine and Sport can help.
Our team of chiropractors specializes in treatments for musculoskeletal disorders, injuries, spinal misalignments, and more. To help you recover faster, we can offer a personalized care plan based on your needs and goals. Call us today to learn more about chiropractic care for sciatica!