You can visit a doctor today with a sharp at your lower back thinking that you have torn a muscle or a tendon only to be diagnosed with sciatica. Similarly, you can go to the doctor and tell him or her of the terrible ache you have on your leg or even your feet and the doctor will still diagnose you with sciatica. Most people get treated and they do not know what sciatica is.
The name sciatica comes from the sciatic nerve which runs from the lumbar vertebrae of your lower spine down to your toes. The sciatic nerve is the medium for communication between your brain and your legs.
The general causes of sciatica are;
• Bone spurs or herniated disks. When one of the spinal disks slips and bulges to the side, it presses the roots of the sciatic nerve causing sharp pains.
• Sometimes nerves get trapped in the lumbar vertebra which affects the sciatic nerves causing pain.
• Another cause of sciatica is the piriformis syndrome; where the piriformis muscles in the buttocks tighten and irritate the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica is characterized by excruciating pain that shoots from your lower back to your feet. However, sciatica can also manifest itself as burning or tingling sensations traveling from your back down your leg. This pain or burning sensation causes severe discomfort and can hinder you from performing your daily activities in your home or at your workplace. Surprisingly, sciatica only affects one side of your body. Advanced sciatica causes leg numbness. If you do not attend to the sciatica pain early, it may worsen and require you to go through surgery.
There are several non-surgical ways of treating sciatica. However, non-surgical sciatica treatment measures involve a series of therapeutic exercises that can take up to six weeks before you attain full recovery. Therefore, a Birmingham chiropractor will need several sessions to take you through the following procedures to relieve your sciatica pain.
Chiropractic sciatica treatment steps
Accurate diagnosis of the cause of sciatica
As mentioned above, many things can cause the compression of the sciatic nerve to cause sciatica. Therefore, a chiropractor’s first task is to correctly diagnose the unique disorder that leads to your pain. The doctor will probably review your medical history and follow up with physiological ad neurological examinations. Depending on your situation, your examination may be easy or sometimes the tests may include complicated procedures like nerve conduction velocity tests, x-ray, and CT scans among other tests. Extensive tests help the chiropractor to treat the core of the problem, hence, reducing the time for your treatment.
Chiropractors use ice to reduce your sciatic pain before embarking on other procedures. Ice reduces blood flow and in the process reduces inflammation from your lower back, leg, and foot.
After the pain reduces, doctors use ultrasound technology to produce sound waves and a gentle heat that penetrates your muscles and soft tissues to gradually increase circulation and reduce stiffness, cramping, and muscle spasms.
Some establishments have transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation equipment which is an alternative to ultrasound machines. The battery-powered TENS unit produces varied electrical current intensities to reduce muscle spasms and to reduce the tension within nerves.
The final and most significant stage of chiropractic sciatica treatment is spinal disk manipulation. Chiropractors physically manipulate the spinal disks to return the misaligned vertebra to their positions. They free restricted bone material in the spinal column to alleviate the stress they put to the sciatic nerve to cause irritability, pain, and inflammation. Chiropractors possess unique skills and can make these muscle adjustments without inflicting injury or pain to the patient. They combine gentle force and swiftness to perform these manipulations with precision.
Sciatica can cause extreme discomfort. Several people have severe pain in the lower back and legs without any idea that they suffer from sciatica. Simple home exercises, stretching, and massages from people can ease the pain for a short period; however, the pain keeps coming back because you are yet to solve the root of the problem.
With a few procedural sessions, a chiropractor can treat sciatica and relieve you of your pain efficiently without surgery. After easing the pain using ice, gentle heat, and electrical stimulation, a chiropractor can physically realign the disks that are improperly aligned in your spinal column to stop them from exerting pressure on your sciatic nerves. Therefore, do not wait until the pain requires surgery; contact a chiropractor as soon as you have any sciatica symptoms. Call us at 205-637-1363.