Sciatica is lower back pain that is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve and is one of the most common complaints that sends people seeking chiropractic treatment. The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body and runs through the lower back and down the back of each leg, and any injury or pressure on that nerve can cause different types of pain. The good news is that sciatica nerve treatment has proven to relieve the pain and discomfort of sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve originates from nerve roots in the spinal cord and runs down through the buttocks into the legs. The pain from sciatica varies from patient to patient, but is typically felt in the lower back and down the thigh, and can sometimes radiate down below the knee. The pain can range from dull and achy to sharp, and can even be debilitating. Sometimes sciatica is felt as numbness.
Sciatic nerve pain can become worse when bending or walking, or standing after long periods of sitting. It can often be relieved with changing positions or lying down.
What Causes Sciatica?
A herniated disc often causes sciatica in the lumbar spine of the lower back, but any irritation or pressure on the nerve can produce sciatic pain. Some causes are irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone, tumors, muscles, infection around the lumbar spine, or injury to that area. Pregnancy can irritate the sciatic nerve.
Piriformis syndrome is another cause of sciatic nerve pain. The piriformis muscle helps with hip rotation and runs above the sciatic nerve. Any cramping or spasms in the piriformis muscle can pinch the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica can last anywhere from a few days to weeks or months, and can even become chronic if not treated promptly.
How to Treat Sciatica Nerve Pain?
Chiropractic treatment to minimize sciatic nerve pain is non-invasive, and so there is no surgery required or medications but is based on correcting the underlying cause of the condition.
Because of the various causes of sciatica, your chiropractor will do a full examination and take your medical history to determine the root of the problem. If you’re seeking sciatica nerve treatment in Farmington Hills, MI., your chiropractor will draw up a treatment plan based on eliminating the underlying causes.
Treatment for sciatic nerve pain includes spinal manipulation and adjustments to realign the spine and take pressure off the sciatic nerve. Your chiropractor will prescribe a program of low back conditioning and stretching exercises that will hasten recovery and prevent further sciatic pain.
Other treatments for sciatica nerve pain include TENS – transcutaneous electrical nerve simulation – ice therapy to reduce inflammation, and ultrasound.