Sciatica can be this constant, nagging, intense pain that doesn’t seem to relieve itself, no matter the position you are in. Medically, you may be on pain medications, undergoing physical therapy or in worse cases, surgery. Although these are viable options, Natural medicine interest is on the rise and you may be wondering – Can Chiropractors Relieve Sciatica?
Sciatica. What is it?
Sciatica is rarely seen in younger patients 20 and under and will surface in middle age — 40s and 50s. Sciatica is a lower back issue that isn’t considered a medical diagnosis but is a result of underlying conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, etc. Your sciatica nerve travels from your lower back and hips down to your legs. This is the single largest nerve in our bodies. This nerve can become pinched and if not resolved, can lead to permanent damage.This could lead to a loss of feeling in the affected area or a loss of bladder control and bowel movements.
Symptoms of Sciatica may include:
- Single-sided, constant pain in the leg and buttocks
- Pain that elevates when sitting
- A burning, searing, or tingling pain
- Mobility issues that includes numbness, tingling, or weakness
- A sharp pain that makes movement difficult
- Pain that travels down the leg and reaching into the toes and foot
Chiropractors. What is it?
Although chiropractic care is considered an alternative medical treatment to traditional medicine; It is required to receive a doctor of chiropractic degree in order to practice it.
Chiropractors are concerned with diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system and spine. Although that is the focus, chiropractic care is holistic, therefore it works to provide whole body balance, to relieve pain.
Treatment involves “adjustments” which is when the chiropractor uses their hands or a tool to apply controlled pressure or force to a joint; known as spinal manipulation. Doing this increases blood flow and nerve connections to the joints and muscles experiencing pain. The adjustments cause little to no pain or discomfort. Some may feel soreness or minor aches afterwards, but usually many feel relief right away.
Can Chiropractors Relieve Sciatica?
Chiropractic care is an attractive choice because of the lack of side effects that come with traditional medicine, surgery recovery and most importantly cost. Most chiropractic care is covered by health insurance, making it a readily available option.
Since sciatica pain is usually back pain, it makes it a great option for chiropractic care as back pain is the most common reason clients seek out chiropractors. In addition, this treatment is known to be safe for most.
If your pain is nonstop and you can’t find relief, consider trying the following in the meantime.
- Use heat and ice – Try using a cycle of heat and ice — use a heat pack for 20 minutes and then switch to an ice pack for 20 minutes. Cycle this to contain and alleviate the pain and repeat every two hours.
- Anti-inflammatories – Inflammation plays one of the biggest roles in sciatic pain, so being able to control it will help control the pain. Consider over-the-counter pain medications or herbal supplements such as turmeric or Boswellia.
- Topicals – There are many creams and muscle rubs that can soothe the sciatic nerve and reduce discomfort. Look for topicals with menthol, st. john’s wort, lavender, or Boswellia — these all have anti-inflammatory properties.
Besides chiropractors, there are many all natural, FDA approved options for sciatica that you can pursue before undergoing medications or surgery but chiropractic care is certainly one of them.