The primary symptom of sciatica is lower back pain that travels down to the legs. It can affect one leg or both but is usually limited to one side of the body. In some cases, it will travel through the buttock and thigh all the way down to the foot and the toes.
The severity of the pain can vary between individuals. For some, it will be severe and chronic; others will have infrequent attacks. In all cases, sciatica pain can worsen.
What triggers sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by irritation to the base of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine, which may result from any of the following:
– Narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, also known as lumbar spinal stenosis
– Breakdown of the discs cushioning the vertebrae
– One vertebra slipping forward of the one below it, also known as spondylolistheses
– Strain on the spine from pregnancy
– Sleeping on a mattress that does not adequately support the spine.
How chiropractic treatment can help
The chiropractor will look at the patient’s medical history and will administer treatment with the goal of realigning the spine to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. With the pressure relieved, the body can start its healing process. Spinal adjustments should not cause pain and have been proven to be both safe and effective.
Spinal adjustments are the mainstay of chiropractic care, but chiropractors do have other therapies that they can use. The type of treatment used depends on what is causing the patient’s sciatica. These other treatments include:
The application of cold can reduce inflammation along with the pain from sciatica.
Sound waves are used to create a gentle heat that penetrates tissues. Along with increasing circulation, those sound waves can reduce muscle spasms and inflammation.
Transcutaneous Electrical Never Stimulation (TENS)
This involves stimulating muscles using electricity. Electrical currents of varying strengths are applied to the muscle to reduce pain and spasms.
Chiropractic treatment is a noninvasive, drug-free way to get relief from sciatica. To learn more about its benefits, contact us or visit our chiropractic clinics in Houston and Missouri City.