How To Treat Sciatica

Sciatica isn’t technically a medical diagnosis. Instead, this term refers to pain and other sensations that travel along your sciatic nerve, and the sensations that you feel are usually associated with some type of back or spinal injury such as a slipped disc.

You may also experience temporary sciatica during pregnancy or after a minor back injury. Your sciatic nerve runs through your lower back and down through your buttocks and both of your lower legs. Anything that puts pressure on this nerve can cause you to experience one or more of the following symptoms that will make you wonder how do you treat sciatica.

  • shooting pain that runs from your lower back down to the side of your leg
  • numbness in your leg along where the nerve runs
  • tingling or pins and needles sensations in your buttocks or leg

The pain that you feel from sciatica can range in its severity levels. At times, you might feel a fast, shooting pain that quickly goes away. Or, you may have more prolonged pain. Most people with sciatica find that their symptoms tend to worsen after periods of prolonged sitting. You may also have your sciatica symptoms flare up after doing activities that place strain on your spine such as bending and stooping or lifting heavy objects. Although you may not be able to avoid some of the triggers for your pain, it is best to do what you can to minimize them. For instance, getting up and moving around every 15 to 20 minutes when you are working at your desk can help to relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve.

Treat the Underlying Cause of Your Sciatica Symptoms

Many people start out trying to soothe their sciatica symptoms using common pain relief methods at home. Applying ice and heat can help to relax tense muscles, and over the counter pain relievers can lessen your discomfort. Walking and other forms of low impact exercise can also help to release endorphins that block pain signals to your brain. Unfortunately, these types of strategies can only provide you with temporary relief from your pain because they do not address the underlying cause of your sciatica.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc. Your spinal column is made up of vertebrae, discs and nerves that all must work together properly for you to experience pain-free movement. When a disc slips out of place, it can generate inflammation in the muscles and put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can also be caused by other problems with the spine that can often be identified with medical imaging and a thorough physical exam.

Chiropractic care can help you to treat the underlying issue that contributes to your pain. When you visit a chiropractor, you’ll receive a comprehensive exam that includes looking for problems such as a herniated disc in your spine. Your chiropractor will also assess your posture and ask you lifestyle questions to see if there are any other issues such as a spinal misalignment that make your sciatica worse. Once they identify the root of your pain, they’ll start to put together a plan that helps increase your back health.

A sciatica treatment plan typically includes several different types of chiropractic procedures. Each of these procedures are designed to serve a purpose such as increasing the flexibility of your back muscles and spine. Since the sciatic nerve is located in your lower back region, you may use a wobble chair to help strengthen the muscles in this area and loosen up tight tendons. Vibration traction is another option that can help to rehydrate and condition damaged discs in your spine. As these procedures begin to do their work, your chiropractor can use gentle spinal manipulation to help your spine get into proper alignment. Easing a slipped disc away from the sciatic nerve helps to reduce the pressure on it that contributes to your pain.

The final part of your sciatica treatment plan will focus on helping you to maintain good spinal alignment. Vibration therapy and postural training promote flexibility and strength in your joints and muscles. Your chiropractor may also talk to you about how to make a few lifestyle adjustments at home to prevent another sciatica flare up such as using the proper methods to lift heavy objects.

Have you been trying to treat your sciatica symptoms at home with no relief? Call us today at 205-637-1363 to find out how to address the underlying cause of your pain.

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