April 2017 – Sciatica affects the sciatic nerve, it is a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg to the foot.
Symptoms of Sciatica:
– Pain in the buttock or back of the leg
– Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
– Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
– A shooting pain down the leg that makes it difficult to stand up
Proper Diagnosis of Sciatica is Essential
Since there are many disorders that cause sciatica, the chiropractor’s first step is to determine what is causing the patient’s sciatica. Forming a diagnosis involves a thorough review of the patient’s medical history, and a physical and neurological examination.
Diagnostic testing includes an x-ray, MRI, CT scan and/or electrodiagnostic tests (nerve conduction velocity, electromyography). These examinations and tests help to detect possible contraindications to spinal adjustments and other chiropractic therapies.
There are three main causes of sciatica:
1) Impingement or pressure on the sciatica nerve at the spinal level. Such nerve impingement can be caused by a malpositioned bone in your low back or form a bulging disc.
2) The sciatic nerve can be irritated and impinged in the pelvis at the sacroiliac joint. A rotated pelvis caused by either a fall on hip or any form of hip injury can cause stress on the sacroiliac joint. A misaligned pelvis may cause pinching of the sciatic nerve
3) Pressure on the sciatica nerve in the buttocks can cause symptoms of sciatica. There are many muscles located there and the sciatic nerve passes underneath these muscles. In some people, the sciatic nerve passes through a muscle called the Piriformis Muscle. Whenever, this muscles contracts or becomes tight and irritated the sciatic nerve will be irritated.
Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatic Symptoms
The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help the body’s potential to heal itself. It is based on the principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function. Chiropractic care is non-invasive (non-surgical) and drug-free.
The type of chiropractic therapy provided depends on the cause of the patient’s sciatica. A sciatica treatment plan may include several different treatments such as ice/cold therapies, ultrasound, inferential current, and spinal adjustments. Below are more details on these chiropractic treatment modalities.
- Ice/Cold therapy reduces inflammation and helps to control sciatic pain.
- Ultrasound is gentle heat created by sound waves that penetrates deep into tissues. Ultrasound increases circulation and helps to reduce muscle spasms, cramping, swelling, stiffness, and pain.
- Interferential Current Therapy (IFC) Electrodes are placed on your skin around the injured body part. Variable intensities of electrical current control acute pain and reduce muscle spasms.
- Adjustments (Spinal Manipulation) At the core of chiropractic care are spinal adjustments. Manipulation frees restricted movement of the spine and helps to restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position in the spinal column. Spinal adjustment helps to reduce nerve irritability responsible for causing inflammation, muscle spasm, pain, and other symptoms related to sciatica. Adjustments should not be painful. Spinal manipulation is proven to be safe and effective.
If you are suffering from any of the problems listed above – please contact us to see how the professionals at PhysioFit Health & Rehab can help you.
Doctor of Chiropractic, Acupuncture provider