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Chiropractic care for sciaticA

A natural solution to relieve and manage pain and discomfort caused by sciatica.

Understanding sciatica and how you can help manage PAIN with routine chiropractic care.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is nerve pain from an injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve, which originates in your buttock/gluteal area. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body, made up of five nerve roots: two from the lower back region (the lumbar spine) and three from the final section of the spine (the sacrum). These five nerve roots come together to form a right and left sciatic nerve that runs through your hips, buttocks, and legs on each side of your body. These nerves then branch into other nerves that continue down your leg and into your feet and toes.

 

Although it is rare for injury to happen to the sciatic nerve itself, the term “sciatica” is commonly used to describe any pain that originates in the lower back and radiates down the leg. What this pain shares in common is an injury to a nerve –an irritation, inflammation, pinching or compression of a nerve in your lower back.

 

If you have sciatica, you may experience mild to severe pain anywhere from the lower back, through the hips, buttocks, and/or down your legs. It can cause muscle weakness, numbness, and an unpleasant tingling pins-and-needles sensation in your legs, feet, and toes.

People describe sciatic pain differently depending on its cause. Some people describe the pain as “sharp”, “shooting”, or “jolts” of pain while others describe the pain as “burning,” electric”, or “stabbing”. The pain may be constant or intermittent and is generally more severe in your leg than in your lower back. This may feel worse while standing or sitting for long periods of time. A forced and sudden body movement, like a cough or sneeze, can also make the pain worse.

Risk Factors For Sciatica

You may be at greater risk of sciatica if you: 

  • Have an injury/previous injury: An injury to your lower back puts you at greater risk for sciatica. 

  • Are overweight: The more weight that you carry in the front of your body, the more your back muscles have to work, causing back strains, pains, and other back issues.

  • Lack of a strong core: Your “core” are the muscles in your back and abdomen. The stronger your core, the more support you’ll have for your lower back. Unlike your chest area, where your rib cage provides support, the only support for your lower back is your muscles.

  • Have an active, physical job: Jobs that require heavy lifting may increase your risk of lower back problems. Jobs with prolonged sitting may also have this effect. 

  • Lack of proper posture in the gym: Even if you are physically fit and active, you can still be at risk for sciatica if you don’t follow proper body form during weight lifting or other strength training exercises. 

  • Have diabetes: Diabetes increases your chance of nerve damage, which puts you at higher risk of sciatica. 

  • Have osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis can cause damage to your spine and puts nerves at risk of injury. 

  • Lead an inactive lifestyle: Sitting for long periods of time and not exercising and keeping your muscles moving, flexible and toned can increase your risk of sciatica.

  • Smoke: The nicotine in tobacco can damage spinal tissue, weaken bones, and speed the wearing down of vertebral disks.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help With Sciatic Pain

While sciatic pain can be debilitating, chiropractic treatment for sciatica can relieve it gently and naturally. This care entails treating the pain without costly and harmful side effects. Below are some specific ways Beach Cities Chiropractic can help with sciatica:

  • Accurate diagnosis: Chiropractic care is founded on the basis that restricted spinal movement can lead to pain and reduced function. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, your chiropractor will examine and review your medical history to determine the cause of the pain. Chiropractic treatment helps the body heal itself with drug-free, non-invasive (non-surgical) treatment. Chiropractic care is considered one of the best treatments for sciatica as it addresses the root cause of the problem and helps alleviate pain and discomfort associated with sciatica.

  • Chiropractic adjustments: Your chiropractor can perform spinal manipulations to allow a herniated disc to rest back into position and take the pressure off the sciatic nerve. The adjustments can also improve spinal movement and restore misaligned vertebral discs. This technique varies from a quick high-velocity thrust to a combination of minimal force and gentle pressure. It allows the chiropractor to gently move the lower back vertebral to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. This will lessen the pain as well as regain nerve signal flow and mobility. Chiropractic care is a proven, drug-free and non-invasive option for sciatica pain treatment.

  • Chiropractic exercises: Depending on the root cause of the problem, your chiropractor will recommend exercises or physical therapy for sciatica that avoid sciatic nerve aggravation and help release pressure from inflamed and tight muscles. These exercises include stretching programs that you can do at home. Certain yoga poses are also effective at reducing sciatic pain. For instance, the reclining pigeon pose can stretch the piriformis muscle, release pressure on the nerve, and ease irritations.

  • Lifestyle changes: At Beach Cities Chiropractic we look at all aspects of your life. Your chiropractor might recommend a new way to stand, sit, sleep, and lift to protect the positioning of the sciatic nerve. This guidance can help you strengthen the back muscles to keep the disc in place. This is crucial because, the stronger the back is, the less likely discs will slip to put pressure on the sciatic nerve again. Consistent chiropractic care can help ease sciatic pain both in the short and long term.

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