Compression of the sciatica nerve or a “pinched nerve” causes pain that originates in the low back or buttock and travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity and frequency. It may be minimal, moderate, severe and occasional, frequent or constant. Chiropractic treatment options aim at treating such discomfort rooted in spinal misalignment.
The most common cause of sciatica can be piriformis syndrome, spinal tumors, lumbar spinal stenosis, or trauma. Chiropractic care can provide relief for sciatica pain. Symptoms associated with sciatica are pain that can be described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins or electric shocks, burning, numbness and tingling sensations.
Chiropractic adjustment such as spinal manipulation is highly effective in addressing a number of underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain. This manual spinal adjustment can relieve pressure on the nervous system, promote spinal health and improve overall health. It reduces the nerve irritability responsible for causing inflammation, muscle spasm, pain, and other symptoms related to sciatica.
Along with manipulation of the spine, there are other ways of alleviating sciatica pain that will allow patients to regain strength and flexibility in their bodies. Established healthcare centers in NY combine several treatment options to provide faster relief from pain. These non-surgical options include:
- Ice/cold therapy
- TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Pain medications – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), oral steroids or muscle relaxants
- Epidural steroid injections
Physical therapy exercises are also part of the treatment that can help alleviate pain and prevent pain from worsening. Performed on a regular basis, exercise programs can increase flexibility, build endurance and strengthen the muscles supporting the spine.
Treatment provided may vary from person to person as well as with the root cause of sciatica. The chiropractor’s first step is to determine the real cause of pain. Diagnosis involves a detailed review of the patient’s medical history, and a physical and neurological examination. Advanced modalities such as X-ray, MRI, CT scan and/or electrodiagnostic tests may be used to identify the exact reason for the pain.