Lower back pain can significantly affect your quality of life, making it difficult for you to work or get a good night’s sleep and causing general discomfort. When back pain travels down the hip and then into your leg, it becomes more unbearable.
If this describes what you have experienced, you might be wondering, “Can a chiropractor help with sciatica?”
The answer is yes! Many are unfamiliar with the advantages of choosing a sciatica chiropractor over providers of conventional methods.
Chiropractic procedures can help you manage your sciatica pain without using drugs or invasive procedures.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve, which travels from your lower back past your hips and down each leg, is compressed.
You can experience sciatica pain anywhere along the nerve’s path, and symptoms vary significantly from person to person. Most people experience sciatic nerve pain on one side of the body and it can commonly present a dull ache or a sharp radiating pain.
What Causes Sciatic Nerve Compression?
Sciatic nerve compression is the primary cause of sciatica. This can occur for various reasons, such as the following:
- Sitting on your wallet in your back pocket
- Childbirth and pregnancy
- Slipped or herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Lumbar spine subluxations
- Wearing high heels
- Poor posture or prolonged sitting
- Strained or tight muscles
- Degenerative disc disease
Piriformis syndrome is one typical cause of sciatica. The piriformis muscle, which is connected to the thigh bone and is situated in the lower region of the spine, facilitates hip rotation. This muscle is located beneath the sciatic nerve.
Hip arthritis, slip-and-fall accidents, and differences in limb length can all injure the piriformis muscle. In such circumstances, you may experience muscle spasms, which compress the sciatic nerve and lead to discomfort and pain.
As we’ve mentioned before, sciatica symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with sciatic pain:
- Leg pain
- Lower back pain
- Leg numbness, muscle weakness, or difficulty moving the leg
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- A burning or tingling sensation in the leg
- Excruciating pain that makes it hard to stand up
How Can a Sciatica Chiropractor Provide Sciatica Pain Relief?
Chiropractic care provides several benefits and can help you manage sciatica without the use of invasive procedures. There are several techniques that a chiropractor can use to help ease sciatica pain, such as the following:
- Spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments
- Physical therapy
- Cold therapy
- Heat therapy
A Closer Look at Our Chiropractic Treatment Options for Sciatic Pain
Spinal Manipulation or Chiropractic Adjustments
Spinal adjustments, also known as spinal manipulation, are the cornerstone of chiropractic treatment. The spine can move more freely and adjust accordingly, which also aids in repositioning displaced vertebrae (subluxations) in the vertebral column.
The irritation of the sciatic nerve, which causes pain, inflammation, and other symptoms, such as muscle spasms, is lessened by spinal adjustments. The adjustment shouldn’t hurt and has been proven to be both reliable and effective.
It is used to help manage the following conditions:
- Neck pain
- Back pain (not related to sciatica)
- Other musculoskeletal problems
Hot or Cold Therapy
Another effective treatment method that forms part of our chiropractic care regimen is hot and cold therapy. It can quickly relieve sciatica symptoms.
While cold therapy reduces inflammation and assists in reducing blood circulation, heat therapy typically relaxes tense muscles and promotes blood flow to the affected area. Our chiropractors can determine which option is best for you, and we will use both if necessary.
Exercise or Physical Therapy
Because tight muscles often cause sciatic nerve compression, we use exercise therapy as part of our chiropractic care to help relax these muscles and reduce inflammation.
Your chiropractor may also recommend certain lifestyle changes to help you prevent applying pressure on the sciatic nerve. By maintaining an active lifestyle, stretching your muscles, and correcting your posture, you can prevent this condition for lasting pain relief from sciatica.
Note: Not all exercises are recommended for sciatica. Always ask your doctor to recommend types of exercises suitable for your condition.
Are you curious about what happens after a chiropractic adjustment session? Read our post-procedure guide here.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is a chiropractor useful for treating sciatica?
Yes! Chiropractic care offers a safe, drug-free, and non-invasive alternative to conventional procedures. While chiropractors don’t really “treat” conditions, the adjustments are safe and effective in enabling the body to manage pain better.
[Read: 14 Advantages of Chiropractic Care]
2. How do chiropractors adjust sciatica?
A chiropractor can use spinal adjustments to alleviate and assist in healing herniated discs, which can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. The adjustments can also correct misplaced vertebral discs and restore restricted spinal mobility.
This method can range from a swift, high-velocity push to a delicate blend of pressure and a little force. It enables the chiropractor to reposition the vertebrae in the lower back without putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Moreover, this will improve nerve signal transmission and mobility while reducing pain and discomfort. A chiropractor can also use adjustments to reduce muscle spasms, which will help to provide long-lasting relief.
3. Should I make chiropractic adjustments at home?
Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find several tutorials and guides on how to do chiropractic care at home.
However, if you have not received chiropractic training, you should never attempt spinal adjustments. That’s because this could make the pain worse and cause additional injuries. It’s best to seek professional help in this case.
Schedule an Appointment Today to Find Relief from Sciatic Pain!
Are you looking for a more effective pain management method for sciatica? Cornerstone Family Chiropractic in Prescott, AZ, can help!
With a commitment to providing safe and effective chiropractic care to promote overall health and wellness, you can rely on us to prevent sciatica pain and treat existing symptoms.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!