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How Chiropractic Can Help With Sciatica
Chiropractic help is often sought when pain radiates along the sciatic nerve, which extends through your lower back, hips, buttocks and down each leg. Referred to as sciatica, it typically occurs when part of the spine becomes compressed or pinched due to spinal stenosis, a bone spur or a herniated disk. Sciatica often affects only one side of the body. Pain can be severe, keeping you from a normal routine. However, chiropractic treatment can help reduce the pain and help you get your life back.
What is chiropractic treatment?
Focusing on the relationship between the body’s structure and function, chiropractors manipulate or adjust the body using hands-on therapy. Treating lower back pain is one of the most frequent uses for chiropractic. However, it is also commonly used to address issues occurring with the bones, joints, muscles and connective tissue. This discipline takes a different approach to classifying, diagnosing and treating medical problems than conventional medicine.
When to see a chiropractor
Mild cases of sciatica usually go away on their own. In situations when pain increases or symptoms last longer than a week, patients should see a chiropractor. The Mayo Clinic recommends seeking immediate care if sciatic pain occurs after a violent injury, there is numbness or muscle weakness in the legs or sudden, severe pain occurs in the lower back. If there is a loss of bladder or bowel control for no apparent reason, sciatica may be the cause.
Correct diagnosis is essential
Medical professionals typically take a patient’s history, perform a physical exam and use diagnostic imaging when determining the cause of the pain. This process enables the chiropractor to detect contraindications to spinal adjustments and assists in determining the appropriate course of action for sciatica.
How chiropractors treat pain
Chiropractic therapy is non-invasive and drug-free. Its purpose is to help the body heal itself. A treatment plan often includes one or more adjustments. The techniques used can vary based on the cause and severity of the pain.
Doctors use controlled, sudden force to manipulate joints and abnormal vertebrae in a practice that is the core of chiropractic care. The goal is to reduce pain and improve the range and quality of motion by restoring spinal alignment. The adjustment can also reduce muscle spasms and nerve irritability for inflammation.
This helps control pain and reduce inflammation related to issues caused by an imbalance along the sciatic nerve.
This is a stimulation machine that uses variable levels of electrical current to reduce muscle spasms and pain in patients with acute pain.
This technique uses sound waves to create heat, which penetrates deep in the tissues of the affected area. It can reduce cramping, swelling, pain and stiffness by increasing circulation.
Chiropractic treatment plans center around pain, activity intolerance and disability issues. Depending on your particular situation, mobilization, massage and a variety of other treatments may be part of the therapy. Also, the chiropractor may make recommendations for activities you can do on your own to improve the effectiveness of the treatments, such as stretches, foam-roller exercises or arm and leg lifts.
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