The need for chiropractors continues to grow every day. This is because millions of Americans suffer from spinal-related problems. Common spinal-related problems include scoliosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, stenosis, herniation, myelopathy, et cetera. These problems cause effects like pain and reduced mobility in the affected area that may be chronic. Furthermore, the conditions lower the quality of your life and prevent you from completing daily tasks.
Chiropractors aim at realigning the spine and relieving the pressure on the nerves that causes pain. The treatment of spinal-related disorders usually varies with the severity of your condition. Mild cases take a few weeks, while severe cases can take months to treat. Chiropractic adjustments are, however, effective in alleviating symptoms of most spinal-related conditions. The adjustments can be performed either manually or using certain instruments. Some of the adjustment techniques used include spinal decompression, spinal manipulation, traction, McKenzie method, et cetera. Before starting the adjustment procedures, a chiropractor should first diagnose your condition. Different conditions are diagnosed differently. Additionally, different adjustment procedures can be recommended by the chiropractor for different conditions.
Sciatica is an illness that affects the sciatic nerve, which presents as pain throughout the nerve. The pain is different; it can be a burning sensation, excruciating pain, or sudden sharp pain. The sciatic nerve is a significant nerve innervating your lower body. It runs from the back to the buttocks and splits to innervate both legs. In most patients with sciatica, it only affects one side. A majority of the sciatica cases are due to spinal disc herniation. When this happens, the spine narrows and pinches the sciatic nerve causing pain and inflammation. A tingling sensation of the muscles and numbness can also be a symptom in some patients. The pain can sometimes present like an electrical shock, and certain factors can exacerbate it, such as sitting for too long or sneezing. When sciatica becomes severe, it can cause weakness of the affected leg and inadequate control of the bladder or bowels.
Some risks factors are known to make you susceptible to sciatica. They include diabetes, obesity, age, occupation, and a sedentary lifestyle.
How does a chiropractor for sciatica evaluate the condition?
Before starting treatment for sciatica, your chiropractor will carry out medical examinations. The first examination is a history examination. Have you suffered from sciatica before? Is there a family history of sciatica? Are you allergic to any medications? These are questions you will be asked during the history examination. The chiropractor will then ask questions of the chief complaint, which is sciatica. How long ago did the symptoms start presenting? What are the symptoms? Are there factors that exacerbate or alleviate the symptoms? All these questions are significant in making an appropriate diagnosis.
A physical examination will follow. In this examination, the chiropractor will check for the reflexes and strength of your muscles. The chiropractor may ask you to tiptoe or raise one leg at a time while you lay on your back. If you have sciatica pain, these activities will worsen it.
The chiropractor will then perform imaging techniques to check for disc herniation. These techniques are, however, only done in patients with severe sciatic pain. Techniques used include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerize tomography (CT) scan, X-rays, and electromyography (EMG). X-rays reveal the region of the bone spur where the nerve is compressed. MRIs and CT scans reveal the herniation, while EMGs measure nerve impulses and muscle response.
Whichever the method used, treatment can start immediately after diagnosis. The treatment will also encompass medications to relieve pain. Some of the medications include anti-seizure drugs, narcotics, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories. Steroid injections may be necessary for suppressing the inflammation. In severe cases, where there is a loss of bladder and bowel control, surgery is essential.
Our chiropractic center in Birmingham, Alabama, makes a diagnosis of sciatica and other spinal-related conditions. If you have noticed any symptoms of sciatica such as pain and numbness on one side of your lower body, then you need to be checked for sciatica. Earlier detection of the condition is essential to prevent complications like inadequate bladder and bowel control. At our clinic, we offer holistic management for your sciatica. We do not rely on chiropractic adjustments alone but also incorporate diet, physical exercise, and medications. We can also recommend home remedies such as the use of ice packs to minimize inflammation. Our customer care line is open 24 hours for appointments and any information you may need regarding treatment. Call our clinic today on 205-637-1363 for appointment booking.