Do you think you have sciatica and need the help of a sciatica pain chiropractor? Sciatica is a medical condition affecting the sciatic nerve, which is among the longest nerves in the body. It is typically caused by a herniated disc in the back that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Any compression along the sciatic nerve can result in persistent pain that radiates from the lower back down to the legs, making it difficult to walk or stand for a long time. Good news! We’re here to tell you how a sciatica pain chiropractor can give you relief and alleviate your discomfort.
Sciatica is often caused by a compressed nerve in the lower spine, and its pain can range from mild to severe. It is estimated that up to 40% of people would experience sciatica at least once in their life, and if you are one of those people, you know it could be very painful and inconvenient.
Some individuals confuse general back pain with sciatica, but sciatica is not limited to just the back. The sciatic nerve passes from your lower back, through the buttocks, and down your legs, ending just below the knee, and pain could radiate from any of those areas.
What Causes Sciatica?
A bulging or herniated disc commonly exacerbates sciatica due to the inflammation that could occur with this injury. The resulting pain could be felt as a shooting wave along the sciatic nerve. This swelling leads to pain, often concentrated on just one side of the body, resulting in shooting waves along your sciatic nerve. Some other common causes of sciatica include degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis (when one of the lower vertebrae slips forward onto the one beneath it).
In women, the sciatic nerve passes under the uterus, so as the baby grows, it could put pressure on the patient’s sciatic nerve and cause pain and discomfort. More than two-thirds of pregnant women suffer from lower back pain of some kind during pregnancy, and sciatica could be a cause of that pain. Sciatica is more likely to happen later in pregnancy or once the fetus is largely due to the increased pressure on the sciatic nerve.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms Of Sciatica?
Sciatica pain can be easily recognized by its telltale pattern, where the pain radiates from your (lumbar) lower spine to your buttock and down the back of the leg down to the calf. This pattern typically only appears on one side of the body and can have a tingling or burning sensation.
This pain can feel like a mild, dull pain or, when more severe, like a strong painful jolt. Sciatica occurs on a spectrum from mild to severe, so don’t discount your pain just because it isn’t extreme. If you are experiencing the radiating pain we described, you likely have sciatica.
Sometimes, sciatica creates numbness in the leg along the nerve and a tingling pins and needles sensation in one foot. It can be accompanied by numbness in the leg, pain while standing, difficulty breathing, and even anxiety symptoms.
What Are The Main Types Of Sciatica?
The type of sciatica is determined by whether one or both legs are afflicted and the duration of the symptoms. Sciatica can be acute, chronic, alternating, bilateral, or wallet.
Acute sciatica is defined by a recent onset of pain lasting four to eight weeks or less. It usually does not require medical attention and responds well to at-home treatment regimens.
Chronic sciatica is defined as pain that persists for more than eight weeks. Home remedies may not be effective. To decide the best treatment option, consult a sciatica pain chiropractor.
Alternating sciatica occurs when both legs are impacted alternately. Although this type of sciatica is uncommon, it may be caused by sacroiliac joint degeneration.
Bilateral sciatica affects both legs simultaneously. This is highly uncommon and could be caused by a degenerative change in the vertebrae or disc.
Wallet sciatica is a nonmedical phrase for sciatica caused by a wallet in the back pocket pressing on the sciatic nerve when sitting. Moving the wallet to a front pocket or jacket pocket can help with this. It is also useful to remove unneeded stuff from the wallet.
How Can A Chiropractor Help With Sciatica?
Choosing a sciatica pain chiropractor who is qualified and experienced in treating sciatica is essential. They can give you exercises to do at home, stretches for your muscles, and pain relief medications.
A good sciatica pain chiropractor will always ask questions about when the pain started, how long the discomfort has been present, etc., which helps them tailor their approach to best address your needs and goals.
Some treatments may include spinal adjustments (manipulation) done by hand or with special instruments, soft tissue massage therapy like trigger point release techniques or myofascial release techniques, nutritional advice including diet/food sensitivities testing, and supplements such as vitamins D&E.
Treatment options also include acupuncture for pain relief which involves needles being inserted into specific points on the body to increase blood flow and promote relaxation, and electrical muscle stimulation (EMT), which consists of a machine that sends low-voltage electric currents through the skin into muscles or joint areas.
After an initial appointment, your sciatica pain chiropractor will review your medical history and physical exam findings and discuss treatment options for sciatica. They may recommend diagnostic imaging tests to pinpoint the cause of pain – X-ray or MRI scans can help determine if spinal misalignment contributes to symptoms.
CT scan uses computerized tomography technology to create cross-sectional images of bone tissue-like spongy discs between vertebrae. This type of test does not use radiation, but it’s important to note that such a test has side effects.
When to Call A Qualified Sciatica Pain Chiropractor
Finding a reliable sciatica pain chiropractor to diagnose and treat a patient’s sciatica can seem daunting. There are many chiropractors, so it becomes difficult to know which is the best for your specific case.
There are four main steps that you need to take before finding a qualified chiropractor: determining if you have sciatica, identifying whether or not this condition requires an urgent treatment plan, defining what kind of care you want from your provider (massage therapy, spinal adjustment), and finally checking their credentials with the local board of health.
You may be feeling some pressure in your lower back on one side. This pain might come about as intermittent shooting sensations down through the leg past the knee joint nearly all day – but especially when you lean forward or walk.
You might also notice that your legs feel different lengths, one being shorter than the other; you may be standing up straight and seeing a difference in height from the left to the right side of your body. These are signs of sciatica – pressure on nerves at the lower back, causing pain anywhere along its path through the buttocks down to the legs. Sometimes this condition will come out as numbness, weakness, tingling sensations, or even burning feelings in those areas.
If these symptoms sound like something you’ve been experiencing for a while now (months), it’s time to find a sciatica pain chiropractor specializing in treating sciatica patients. And it would be best if you also considered getting a referral from your family doctor to ensure nothing serious, like an infection, is going on.
A qualified sciatica pain chiropractor will diagnose and take care of the issue with treatments, exercises, or education. They’ll make recommendations based on what’s causing the lower back pains.
This includes herniated discs being pushed out too far against bone tissue if specific vertebrae are misaligned over one another due to natural wear and tear over time or even just a result of sitting in the same position for too long.
How to Prevent Sciatica
The key is to keep your body moving properly, which can be done in several ways. These are tips that we recommend to our patients and can be used to prevent lower back pain in general.
Maintain or Build Your Core Stability
Performing regular exercises to promote core stability can help prevent back pain. We encourage our patients to stick with an exercise routine for long-term benefits. While you don’t have to consult with your sciatica pain chiropractor before exercising, we recommend it – especially if you have a history of back pain. When our patients consult us, we recommend exercises that work best with their medical history and health goals.
Stretching helps you maintain flexibility throughout your low back, pelvis, and legs and relieves pressure that may be building in your body. To help with sciatica, stretch your piriformis (the muscles at the top of the hip joints and buttocks) on both sides. If you find stretching the muscles in your lower extremity difficult, try using a foam roller.
Visiting your sciatica pain chiropractor periodically throughout the year can help prevent musculoskeletal issues. Please consider this as going in for a check-up to ensure everything is working and moving as it should.
Thousands of people suffer from lower back pain caused by sciatica every year; in fact, it’s estimated that one out of five Americans suffers from low-back pain at any time. The good news? Sciatica can usually be effectively treated! All it takes is an experienced sciatica pain chiropractor who knows the latest evidence-based techniques for therapy and diagnosis.
It’s important to be open with your sciatica pain chiropractor about what you’re experiencing. They can only make an accurate diagnosis by knowing how and when it started, how long it lasted, and where the pain occurred.
If you’re experiencing debilitating pain or sciatica pain is beginning to affect your daily life and activities, please contact us today! We are experts with years of experience, and you can rest assured that you are in good hands with us!