Sciatica or Pinched Nerve Treatment: Have You Considered Seeing A Chiropractor?
If you have suffered or are currently suffering Sciatica, you will understand how frustrating and sometimes incapacitating it can be. Sciatica is a general term used to describe a problem with a large nerve (in fact the largest nerve in the body) that begins in the lower spinal cord; the sciatic nerve. The Sciatic nerve travels through the lower back, down each buttock into both legs and finally stops in the feet. Painful symptoms of Sciatica can be felt anywhere along the nerve. Sciatica rarely begins after one single event but rather slowly develops over time.
There are a variety of signals that you may require sciatica treatment including having pain that is usually single sided in the buttock or leg, symptoms are typically worse when sitting, pain is felt as sharp, burning or shooting, tingling, numbness or weakness is present, you have difficulty walking or moving your feet.
MAJOR CAUSES OF SCIATICA
Sciatica may be caused by any of the following issues including lumbar disc bulge/herniation, spinal arthritis and degeneration, spondylolithesis, spinal stenosis, myofascial dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction. While these are not the only causes that require specific sciatica treatment, these are the most common encountered in Chiropractic practice.
CONSERVATIVE SCIATICA TREATMENT OPTIONS
Depending upon the exact cause of your Sciatica, there are numerous techniques which may be used to assist reducing pain, improving general function as well as enhancing mobility and lower back strength. Some of these techniques are discussed below.
Spinal manipulation involves ‘adjusting’ joints of the spine which are not moving properly. These joints may be causing Sciatic nerve pressure and therefore contributing to your symptoms or simply affecting your general movement and flexibility
Lumbar traction is a particularly effective sciatica relief technique especially for cases of lumbar disc bulge/herniation causing sciatica. Traction is extremely gentle and involves applying a gentle stretch on the joints of the lower back to increase disc spacing and relieve disc pressure
Joint mobilisation (gentle stretching) is a more gentle therapy that is often used during acute phases to open up joints to improve overall movement and assist tissue healing
Activator Technique (hand held instruments) used to facilitate enhanced joint movement and is suitable for all individuals and different level of severity
SOT pelvic blocking (mobilisation of pelvic joints) to facilitate the joint movement in the pelvis, and sacrum joints
Massage is often important to assist with reducing muscle tension, tightness and reducing overall sciatica pain
Exercise such as stretches and active muscle releasing techniques help improve posture, reduce muscle tightness and in turn improve sciatic nerve symptoms
Sciatica and Chiropractic Treatment
Patients suffering lumbar disc herniation managed via Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy demonstrated clinically significant improvements. Leemann, S et al. (2014). Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging – confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high velocity-low amplitude spinal manipulative therapy: A prospective observational cohort study with one year follow up. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 37 (3); 155 – 163
Chiropractic appears to be an effective sciatica treatment method. Assendelft, W et al. (1992). The efficacy of Chiropractic manipulation for back pain: Blinded review of relevant randomized clinical trials. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 15(8); 487 – 494
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