For people with sciatica, chiropractic treatments can sometimes help. Chiropractors see thousands of people each year who experience this painful condition, and many sciatica patients report feeling relief after a few chiropractic sessions.
“Sciatica” is a term for the symptoms that result when degenerative spine conditions, such as bulging discs, spinal stenosis or ruptured discs compress the sciatic nerve or nearby nerves. The most common symptoms associated with sciatica are shooting pains or numbness that starts in the lower back and radiates down through the buttocks, hip and the back of the thighs and calves. There are a number of ways to treat sciatica, although chiropractic work is one of the more popular methods of conservative care for the condition.
Can chiropractic work help my sciatica?
Sciatica can have many different causes, so before you decide on a treatment method, you should see a physician for a diagnosis of your specific situation. Some of the most common causes of sciatica include:
- Herniated discs
- Tumors on the sciatic nerve
- Pelvic injury
- Degenerative disc disease
Chiropractic care is a form of alternative and complementary medicine (CAM) that is somewhat controversial in mainstream medical circles. It may be contraindicated with some forms of back pain. Be sure to check with your physician to rule out any condition that cannot be treated by chiropractic care, such as spinal tumors, before beginning a sciatica chiropractic treatment plan.
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. If you seek chiropractic care for sciatica, your treatment plan may include:
- Chiropractic adjustments – The principal method of chiropractic treatment, this technique involves the chiropractor manually manipulating the spine to relieve pain and pressure caused by dislocated spinal joints.
- Cold or hot therapy – 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.
It is important to remember that when it comes to sciatica, chiropractic methods cannot “cure” the condition. The only result that you should expect from chiropractic care is temporary pain relief. For more information about outpatient procedures that can help you find meaningful relief from back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute and receive a free review of your MRI or CT scan.