Chiropractors spend a good portion of their days treating sciatica. My San Diego chiropractic office is no different, during any one time frame, I bet that I have a half dozen patients with complaints of sciatica with or without low back pain.
Treating Sciatica With Chiropractic
Sciatica is a symptom that can have a handful of potential causes. Sciatica appears when the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed. The list of common causes of sciatica include:
1) Simply pinched from a locked joint
2) Compression from swelling around a joint
3) Compression from spasmed muscles
4) Compression from a bone spur commonly found with arthritis
5) Pressure from a herniated disc
There are other causes of sciatica but the list above contains the most common causes and they are listed in descending order from most common to least common. All of the above listed causes of sciatica can be successfully treated with a combination chiropractic care and at home therapy. Although there is a common misconception that herniated discs always require back surgery, many patients are able to control their symptoms with chiropractic treatment and avoid surgery.
Treating sciatica with chiropractic care is effective and a safe alternative to surgical procedures. Not that surgery is bad, but surgery can have unintended consequences that are more severe than your original symptoms. Therefore it is always advisable to try more conservative methods of treatment before surgery.
Treating sciatica with chiropractic care is effective because it restores movement to locked joints, reduces swelling around the joints and decreases muscle spasms. Chiropractic treatment also helps those with sciatica secondary to bone spurs and herniated discs because in many cases the compression in these scenarios comes from local swelling.
In addition to chiropractic for treating sciatica we always have our patients use ice packs and do specific stretches and exercises to help them take control of their pain. Those who suffer from sciatica also need to keep a pain diary in which they write down how they feel and what activities seem to either relieve or exacerbate their symptoms. Identifying the aggravating activities and either eliminating or modifying them will help you recover faster.