Sciatica is a term used to refer to a specific set of symptoms usually isolated to one side of the lower body. Though it is not a disease or condition itself, it is typically the direct cause of an injury in the back that places pressure on the sciatic nerve. In the vast majority of people, sciatica is caused by a slipped disc. However, it can also be caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), a slipped vertebrae (spondylolisthesis), or a tight piriformis muscle (piriformis syndrome).
The symptoms of sciatica usually include pain that radiates down the leg. The pain often worsens when sitting or standing, or when coughing. Many people with sciatica also experience numbness or tingling in the legs and sometimes into the toes. These symptoms can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and ability to perform day-to-day tasks, such as driving, cooking, working, and cleaning.
Anyone with symptoms of sciatica should seek chiropractic evaluation as soon as possible. Often, people with sciatica live with pain and other symptoms unnecessarily, when chiropractic treatment may be able to alleviate the condition.
Treatment for Sciatica
Here at Charleston Spine Center, we understand the discomfort of sciatica and know how to treat it. Based on a patient’s symptoms, a physical examination and x-rays, we can often diagnose sciatica and being treatment within a patient’s first visit. Our goal is get patients on the path to recovery and healing as soon as possible.
Because sciatic nerve pain is often caused by a problem with the spine’s alignment, we use a variety of treatment modalities to gently bring the patient’s vertebrae and nerves back into their natural positions. Instead of simply covering up symptoms with pain medications, our treatments get to the root of the problem so that patients can achieve natural relief.
Our treatments often include the use of spinal decompression, a method in which compressed vertebrae are carefully pulled apart, reducing the pressure that an injured disc places on the sciatic nerve. Most patients find spinal decompression to be a comfortable and relaxing part of their treatment.
In addition to spinal decompression, we may recommend that patients undergo regular chiropractic adjustments and take advantage of physiotherapy options. These drug-free treatments are helpful for immediate pain relief. For example, the use of TENS therapy helps to scramble pain signals sent to the brain, providing immediate relief. Many patients can also continue to recover from sciatica at home between chiropractic appointments by utilizing certain exercises and stretches specifically designed to enhance chiropractic treatment.
For more information about sciatica and how we treat it, contact us here at Charleston Spine Center to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to evaluate your sciatic nerve pain and help you determine if chiropractic treatment could be right for you.