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Sciatica - Chiropractic Relief For That Radiating Leg Pain
By Dr. Heath Gallentine, DC
If you have low back pain that radiates down the legs, chances are you are suffering from sciatica. Sciatica is pain that is felt in the lower back or buttocks that travels to one or both legs. The main culprit, the sciatic nerve, is somehow compressed, which then causes this referred pain. The pain that is involved in sciatica is described to be dull, achy, sharp and/or needle-like, and is often described as getting shocked with a low voltage of electricity. It is a misconception to call it a disorder since this problem is just a symptom of an underlying condition like subluxulation, herniated disc, pregnancy, child birth, tumor, or other non-spinal disorder such as sitting on a wallet for a long time.
There are also trivial things or events that can cause sciatica. It can result from a sudden trauma, such as a strenuous attempt to lift, a jolt of a violent sneeze or cough, or a sudden rotational movement, which can actually be the result of repetitive and cumulative effects of small traumas.
Since there are many causes of sciatica, there is no one-size-fits-all chiropractic method that can be used to treat sciatica. What a chiropractor needs to do is to know what is causing the sciatica on the patient first. Assessment can be done by means of reviewing the patient's medical history, physical and neurological examinations, X-Ray, MRI, CT scan or other electrodiagnostics tests. This is important so the chiropractor will know how to approach and treat the sciatica.
When it comes to sciatica, the purpose of the chiropractic treatment is to allow the body to heal on its own. Basically, it involves optimizing the movement range of the lower buttocks area so that it can function better and take pressure off of the sciatic nerve.
Since the main part of the body that will be treated is the sciatic nerve, then the chiropractic therapy can also include other treatment plans to help speed up the healing process. There are actually three (3) treatment plans that are included in treating sciatica by means of chiropractic treatment.
The first one is ice or cold therapy that uses cold packs to reduce inflammation on the sciatic nerve. It also alleviates the sciatic pain from being too bothersome. Another treatment is the use of ultrasound. The ultrasound creates sound waves that go into the deep tissues. This helps encourage the blood circulation in the area, thereby reducing cramps, spasms, swelling, stiffness and pain. The third one is the use of electrical muscle stimulation, which is the use of low electrical currents to help reduce muscle spasms and relax the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve. The last among the treatment plans is the use of spinal manipulation, which corrects the alignment of the spine and pelvis. Spinal adjustments particularly in the lumbar region reduce the irritability of the nerve that is often the cause of inflammation, muscle pain and other symptoms related to sciatica.
Since it has been raised earlier that sciatica is just a symptom of an underlying problem, then treating it has its own limitations. For one, if the chiropractic doctor notices that the patient should be examined by another doctor first, then the chiropractic treatment will be postponed for some time until the problem has been fixed by the other doctor.
Sciatica symptoms can be greatly reduced by chiropractic care. Taking pain medication for sciatica only masks the underlying problems. Additionally, many times pain medication is not effective for the severe pain experienced, or the pain medication becomes ineffective with time. Chiropractic care is a natural approach to fixing the source of the problem. Take a chance on chiropractic care, and gain the ability to discontinue reliance on pain medication, and get rid of the pain that hinders your life.
Call us today to take the first step to your recovery!
Lexington Family Chiropractic
131 Prosperous Pl #15
Lexington, KY 40509