How Can A Chiropractor Help Sciatica?
If you are experiencing radiating pain that runs down your back and legs, you may be suffering from sciatica. Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve—the largest nerve that runs through your lower spine—becomes compressed. Sciatica can sometimes be caused by a bone spur or a herniated disc. While some people may need surgery, there are ways to relieve and eliminate sciatica without it. You may be able to manage the condition with physical therapy, steroid injections, or even chiropractic intervention. Here are just a few ways a chiropractor can help sciatica.
Massage and Similar Modalities
Massage therapy is highly beneficial to reduce cramping and muscle spasms you may be experiencing from sciatica. Massage therapy can improve circulation, which can reduce inflammation and promote healing to the irritated nerve. While your chiropractor may use their hands to massage your lower back, there are other tools that can massage the area. For instance, some chiropractors can use ultrasound devices that send sound waves into your body's tissues. Again, this can improve circulation and decrease pain. Some chiropractors may use cold laser therapy which not only relaxes the muscles like a massage but reduces any swelling in the area.
As everyone ages, the spinal discs between vertebrae naturally become thinner and can bulge or pinch nerves. Your chiropractor can use spinal decompression tables, which can bend and provide traction so that your spine gets a good stretch. These tables are safe and help your spine lengthen so that the sciatic nerve isn't compressed.
If there is a misalignment in one of your vertebrae that is causing nerve compression, your chiropractor can manually push it back into place. This technique shouldn't hurt and only requires minimal force and gentle pressure. Some chiropractors may use their hands to make the adjustment, while others may use an activator, which is a spring-loaded mechanical instrument that applies quick impulses of pressure.
Ultimately, spinal decompression is a great way to stretch your back and restore range of motion. Spinal decompression can also lessen symptoms of numbness or tingling from sciatica.
Nutritional supplements are the most common complementary health approach in the U.S. Because the chiropractic profession looks at holistic health, more and more chiropractors are introducing nutritional counseling into their practices. Because sciatica can be caused by inflammatory diseases (like rheumatoid arthritis) and can cause nerve inflammation, it's a good idea to look into an anti-inflammatory diet. You may need to cut out things like sugar, gluten, highly processed foods, etc. Your chiropractor can recommend foods to cut out of your diet and food/supplements to add to your diet. A change in diet could prevent future issues with sciatica and reduce your symptoms.
Contact a chiropractor for back pain treatments in your area.