Finding sciatica relief is on the minds of most people that feel a radiating pain in the right or left leg. While severe leg pain may be the initial purpose for a chiropractic visit, the leg is often not where the pain originates from. Common lower back issues, such as a lumbar herniated disc or spinal stenosis, can trigger the sciatic nerve to become irritated because it is being compressed. Since the sciatic nerve is the biggest single nerve in the body, it can cause the pain to travel to your thighs, calves, and feet, as well as the lower back.
For many that suffer from sciatica, surgery is a last option and they want to try everything they can before undergoing a complex medical procedure. Many people may also be deterred from taking heavy medication that may only cover up the pain rather than correcting it, and they want to find a different option. Chiropractic care is a natural approach that works on overall wellness by strengthening your body and uses realignment techniques and spinal treatments to improve sciatica symptoms.
If you have been pushing through leg pain, a few indicators that you have sciatica is that your lower back pain is not as predominate at your leg pain, and your pain reaches the foot. In the same distribution, you get a tingling and numbness almost like being on pins and needles. Another symptom is if the pain feels worse when sitting but improves when standing or lying down. While these are the most common symptoms, each person is unique in how they feel based on the underlying cause. When you visit a chiropractor with symptoms of sciatica, a thorough exam will be given to get to the cause so that the most effective treatment techniques are applied.
Chiropractic Treatments for Sciatica
In one study, three men that had pain in the lower back and leg requested chiropractic care. The straight leg raise test was positive and all three had sciatica, mile neurologic deficits, and lower back pain. They also showed evidence of discogenic disease and the centralization phenomenon was applied to determine the chiropractic care treatment. The treatment consisted of chiropractic side-posture manipulation and ancillary therapies. The patients also used pain medication. Out of the 3 patients, 2 experienced excellent results from the chiropractic treatments and the pain was centralized.
Studies have shown that when it comes to lower back pain and sciatica, the average number of visits to the chiropractor to achieve maximum results is 19 and the number of total days is 43. Treatments will vary based on the severity and underlying causes of sciatica as well as the physical exam, but roughly 2 visits per week is shown to get the best results.
If you have sciatica and suffer from lower back pain, contact a chiropractor today to learn more about your options and the right treatments to help you control and alleviate symptoms.
Cox, J.M., Shreiner, S. “Chiropractic manipulation in low back pain and sciatica: statistical data on the diagnosis, treatment and response of 576 consecutive cases.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy, 1984 March; 7(1): 1-11.
Koes, B.W., van Tulder, M.W., Peul, W.C. “Diagnosis and Treatment of Sciatica.” British Medical Journal, 2007 June; 334(7607): 1313-1317.
Lisi, A.J. “The Centralization Phenomenon in Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation of Discogenic Low Back Pain and Sciatica.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy, 2001 Nov-Dec; 24(9): 596-602.