Chiropractic treatment for sciatica

If you are suffering from debilitating sciatica symptoms, chiropractic treatment may help you find relief.

Sciatica symptoms can occur when a spine condition (such as spinal stenosis or a bulging/ruptured disc) causes compression to the sciatic nerve or nearby nerves. When this type of compression occurs, it can cause sensations of shooting pain or numbness in the lower back. At times, sciatica pain can even radiate down into the buttocks, back of the thighs, calves and feet.

Sciatica diagnosis

Before you see a chiropractor to begin treatment for sciatica, you may want to first see your doctor to discuss your symptoms and to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition. Once you have a clear diagnosis of the cause of your sciatica, there are a number of conservative (noninvasive) treatment options for sciatica that you can try, including chiropractic care.

Sciatica can have many different causes, including the following:

  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Tumors on the sciatic nerve
  • Pelvic injury
  • Degenerative disc disease

If your doctor says that your condition can be safely treated with chiropractic care, you may be able to find relief after only a few sessions. If chiropractic care is not the best option for your condition, you and your doctor can explore other possible treatment options.

How chiropractic treatment works

Chiropractic care is a form of alternative and complementary medicine (CAM) that is somewhat controversial in mainstream medical circles.

Traditional chiropractic theory is based on the idea that the body has an innate intelligence that is disrupted by spinal disorders. The philosophy also teaches that these disruptions are the basis for all sickness in the human body.

Chiropractic was developed in the late 19th century as a method of correcting spinal dislocations (referred to as “subluxations” by chiropractors) and restoring the body’s natural intelligence. While some chiropractors still do adhere to these beliefs, most modern chiropractors combine the techniques of chiropractic work with mainstream views and a variety of other forms of medicine.

Chiropractic treatment for sciatica

If you seek chiropractic care for sciatica, your treatment plan may include one or more of the following methods:

  • Chiropractic adjustments — Adjustments are one of the most common methods used by chiropractors. During an adjustment, a chiropractor manually manipulates the spine. This can help to relieve pain and pressure caused by dislocated spinal joints.
  • Cold or hot therapy — A chiropractor may recommend use of heat and/or cold to relieve inflammation, stop spasms and loosen tight muscles.
  • Ultrasound therapy — This treatment method uses an ultrasound wand to stimulate muscles, restoring blood and oxygen flow and reducing spasms and pain.

When you have sciatica symptoms due to a degenerative spine condition, chiropractic methods will not be able to “cure” you. However, chiropractic care can provide you with temporary pain relief.

Find help for sciatica

At Laser Spine Institute, our goal is to help as many patients as possible find relief from chronic neck and back pain through the use of our minimally invasive spine surgery. We understand that spine surgery can be an overwhelming decision. We aim to alleviate some of the fear surrounding spine surgery by offering our patients a safer, more effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.

For patients suffering from sciatica, we offer minimally invasive decompression or stabilization surgery. These procedures remove the pressure from the sciatic nerve by removing a small portion of the damaged disc, bone spur or joint (decompression surgery) or by removing the entire damaged disc or vertebra and replacing it with an artificial disc and/or bone grafts (stabilization surgery).

Because our surgery offers a less invasive approach to the spine, our patients often experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.

Pain relief is possible. To learn more about the minimally invasive spine surgery available at one of our outpatient surgery centers, please call a member of our Care Team today.