:Sciatica is a painful condition that some experts estimate to afflict as many as four out of ten people. Depending on its severity, it can be a debilitating condition that impacts the ability to walk, causes what can be intense pain in the buttocks and leg, increased anxiety, and can even cause shortness of breath. Fortunately, for those who suffer from sciatica, there are a multitude of treatments that can provide effective pain relief.
There are a variety of risk factors correlated to sciatica. For instance, it tends to occur most often in people aged thirty to fifty. Overweight and even pregnant individuals are also at higher risk due to excess pounds putting pressure on the nerves. People who sit for prolonged periods of time for a hobby or job also have a higher likelihood of contracting sciatica, as well as those who suffer from diabetes.
Sciatica is a result of sciatic nerve compression. It can occur from a variety of sources including:
The pain generally only occurs on one side of the body, starting in the lower back and buttock area, and traveling through the thigh area down to the foot. Sciatica can be an intermittent pain for some, only flaring up on occasion, and can be a constant source of pain for others. Some people suffering from sciatica experience intense, stabbing, pain, while others report a dull ache.
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments to help relieve sciatica pain. The good news is that, for many people, the use of one or more non-surgical options can often provide relief within just a few weeks. Of course, it is always best to consult with your physician or chiropractor for information, referrals, and assistance. Below is a list of some of the most common methods as well as a description to help you decide which method might work best for you.
Both physicians and chiropractors can treat sciatica. The type of provider that will work best for you will depend on the source and severity of your sciatica. A chiropractor is often a great choice for initial evaluation and treatment. They offer a variety of treatment options at an affordable cost, without reliance on surgery or pain medication. Even if your sciatica requires treatment from a physician, a chiropractor will still often provide supplemental treatment in partnership with your medical care team.
Research has shown that chiropractic care is an effective source of pain relief from sciatica. Some studies indicate that patient’s with sciatica will show vast improvement after just four to six appointments. When you first visit your chiropractor, they will complete an evaluation comprised of oral and medical histories. This is done to help determine your range of motion and level of pain. It also helps pinpoint the source of your sciatica. Your chiropractor may also decide to take x-rays or recommend additional tests to adequately diagnose and determine the appropriate course of treatment for your individual needs.
Once your diagnosis of sciatica has been confirmed, your chiropractor will then begin treatment. As mentioned previously, one of the hallmark activities of chiropractic care is spinal manipulation. Through a series of skilled adjustments, your chiropractor will work toward bringing your spine back into alignment. In turn, this will alleviate pressure and stress on your sciatic nerve, thereby reducing pain. In addition to spinal manipulation, your chiropractic team may also introduce other pain-relieving therapies such as:
More than likely, you’ll also be taught stretches and other exercises you can do at home to treat sciatica pain.
If you are interested in learning more about seeing a chiropractor to treat your sciatica, please contact Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine at (972) 355-0083. Our experienced staff can provide a full evaluation as well as the information you need to make the best treatment decision for you.