Doctors' Choice Physical Medicine

What Is Sciatica Pain?

So you think you have sciatica pain, now what?  Maybe you have even been diagnosed with it.

What is Sciatica Pain?

Sciatica pain can be a tingling or numbing sensation down the back of your leg into a foot.  Sometimes Sciatica pain is very painful.

Sciatica pain is caused by pressure or injury to the Sciatic nerve, a nerve that branches from the spinal cord through the hips and down the back of each leg.   The most likely cause of the pressure is a herniated disc in the lower back that puts pressure on the nerve root that forms the Sciatica nerve.  The second most likely cause is a pinch between the muscles in your buttock.  The symptoms of these two variants is nearly the same.

This nerve controls many of the muscles in the legs and is responsible for feeling in the lower body, which is why you are experiencing so much discomfort. There is good news, your pain can be treated!  However, treating the pain is not fixing the problem.  You need to address the pain but the problem (maybe a herniated disc or tight buttock muscles) needs to be fixed.  If you only address the pain and don’t fix the problem recurrence is common.  Each episode becomes a little worse.  Studies have shown that the best long term relief has been accomplished with chiropractic treatment.

What Is The Best Treatment for Sciatica Pain?

Unlike the other treatment options, chiropractic treatment is designed to treat the cause of Sciatica pain, not just the Sciatica pain. This is a key distinction between the treatment options because Sciatica pain is not a condition on its own; it is a symptom of another medical problem. Thus, the treatment needs to get at the root of what is causing the Sciatica pain in order to fully treat it, which is why chiropractic treatment seems to be the most effective option.

So now you may be wondering – what will the chiropractor do to help you? The chiropractor may use a variety of methods to treat your sciatica. The first method is ice/cold therapy. This will reduce inflammation and pain. A second treatment method that may be employed is ultrasound. Ultrasound is a gentle heat created by sound waves. These waves penetrate deep into tissues increasing circulation. This increased circulation leads to reduced inflammation, stiffness and pain.  Stidies hae shown tht PEMF hasw been helpful in helping injuries heal by creating new cells.  there are many other treatments that may be used like stretching, specific exercises, and neuromuscular re-education.  Finally, a chiropractor may use spinal adjustment. Spinal adjustments are the core of chiropractic care and form the basis for chiropractors’ principle guideline – restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function. Therefore, chiropractors will focus much of their treatment around the adjustment of the spine and hips.  These adjustments free restricted movement of the spine and return misaligned vertebra to their proper position. Once the pressure is reduced the nerve irritability responsible for causing inflammation, burning, tingling and pain related to Sciatica can be reduced. Furthermore, in most cases, spinal adjustment gets to the root of what is causing the Sciatica and treats its underlining cause.

The main goal of chiropractic treatment is to increase the body’s ability to heal itself. It is generally the most safe, painless and proven to be effective. It can relieve the pain, burning and tingling caused by sciatica. It can increase your movement and improve your functioning. Sciatica may be robbing you of your comfort and mobility but chiropractic treatment can help and may be the best option when dealing with sciatica.