Sciatica refers to pain along your sciatic nerve, which travels from your lower back down each of your legs. When your sciatic nerve gets pinched anywhere along its pathway, you’ll experience pain that radiates along it. Sciatica can range from mild to severe. Typically, it’s only experienced on one side of your body. This condition affects over 3 million people every year in the United States. Many people can recover from mild cases of sciatica on their own, but chiropractors can help treat sciatic pain and speed your recovery along.
Chiropractic care is a common treatment method for sciatica. It’s a non-invasive, natural way to relieve pain. Since there are many potential causes, the treatments used to treat it vary. Though it can cause severe pain, Elite Chiropractic offers chiropractic treatments to relieve your pain and help resolve the root cause of your pain. In many cases, this can help you avoid more invasive treatment methods, such as surgery.
Sciatica is most commonly identified by pain in your lower back that can spread down your hip and leg. You can feel discomfort or pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve’s pathway. Generally, this pain only affects one side of your body. Sciatic pain ranges from an ache to a burning sensation to excruciating, debilitating pain.
The pain can either be constant or intermittent. It can worsen if you sit for long periods of time, especially if you twist your upper body. Coughing and sneezing and other sudden body movements can aggravate the symptoms. It can also include numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and trouble moving your foot or your leg. It’s not unusual for there to be pain in one area along your sciatic nerve’s pathway and numbness in another spot.
While sciatic nerve often resolves on its own and with the help of chiropractic care, left alone, it can result in permanent sciatic nerve damage. This can lead to a loss of feeling in your affected leg or loss of control over your bladder and bowel.
Sciatica can onset gradually or suddenly, depending on the cause. As it results from your sciatic nerve being pinched, this can happen in many different ways.
Some common causes include:
- Herniated spinal disc
- Bone spur on your vertebrae
- Nerve compression from a tumor
- Nerve damage from a disease, like diabetes
- Spinal stenosis (when your spinal canal narrows in your lower back)
- Degenerative disc disease
- Wear and tear from excess weight, age, or alignment issues
- Piriformis syndrome (when your piriformis muscle tightens or spasms)
- Spondylolisthesis (when one vertebrae slips over another)
There are some conditions that put you at higher risk for sciatica, such as:
- Age. Spines change as we get older, which can result in bone spurs and herniated discs.
- Obesity. Excess weight puts undue stress on your spine, which can lead to the problems causing sciatica.
- Diabetes. Since diabetes increases your risk of nerve damage, it also increases your risk of sciatica.
- Injury/previous injury. If your back or spine gets injured or has previously been injured, this makes you more likely to get sciatica.
- Prolonged sitting. Sitting for long periods of time or leading a sedentary lifestyle without much muscle activity can spike your risk of sciatica.
- Occupation. If you have a physical, active job, such as one that necessitates a lot of lifting, this increases your risk of back problems.
Chiropractic Treatment For Sciatica
The kind of treatment you receive for your sciatica will depend on its cause and severity. While severe cases can need surgery when other treatment methods didn’t work, sciatica can generally be treated with chiropractic care. This is because chiropractors are experts when it comes to your spine and will be able to uncover the root cause of your sciatica and determine how best to treat it.
When you visit Elite Chiropractic for treatment for your sciatica, you can expect us to conduct a physical examination and ask you questions about your history and when the pain started. We’ll create a treatment plan that is personalized to you and your needs.
Our chiropractic treatments for sciatica include a variety of methods, such as spinal manipulations, spinal decompression therapy, massages, exercises, and stretches. These will relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve. Over the course of several treatments, you can find relief.
We can also advise you on what you can do in order to prevent sciatica, such as proper lifting techniques and proper posture. If you’re suffering from sciatica, there’s no need to just wish and hope that it’ll go away on its own. Contact Elite Chiropractic in Wenatchee, WA today to schedule a consultation and let us help you get back to a pain-free life.