Do you ever have shooting pain that runs down your hips and the backs of your legs? Do you get numbness and tingling, or have you noticed that one or both of your legs are weaker lately? Do these symptoms get worse when you bend or twist a certain way or after you’ve lifted something heavy?
If any of this sounds familiar, you may be living with sciatica and looking for non-surgical treatment options. Read on to learn more about chiropractic for sciatica and discover how it can help you reclaim your life.
What Is Sciatica?
Before we dive into all the ways chiropractic treatment can help with sciatica, let’s talk some about what sciatica actually is. Sciatica is a type of pain that runs along the path of your sciatic nerve. This pain will start in the lower part of your back and extend down your hips and along one or both of your legs.
Several things can cause sciatica, but the most common cause is a herniated disc. You may also have a bone spur on your spine or a spinal column narrowing that can compress the nerve. You may experience weakness, numbness, and pain in the leg or legs that are affected.
We mentioned that herniated discs are one of the most common causes of sciatica. A herniated disc is a disc that’s slipped out of alignment with the rest of your spine. It starts to push on your nerves, which can cause the pain and numbness we mentioned.
Chiropractic adjustments specialize in realigning your spine and keeping everything where it’s supposed to be. If you have a slightly herniated disc, your chiropractor may be able to help move it back into alignment, relieving pressure on that nerve. However, it is essential to note that if you have a severely herniated disc, it may require surgery to repair it.
Reduce Nerve Irritation
One of the significant sources of pain with sciatica is nerve irritation, which can worsen over time. Think about when you bite your cheek, and then for the rest of the day, you keep biting it over and over again because that tissue has swollen up and become more tender. The same thing can happen with your nerves. Once your spinal column rubs on the nerves, they can become irritated, swollen, and tender.
Chiropractic care for sciatica can help to reduce irritation in these nerves and restore your nerve health. By realigning your back, they alleviate that constant friction and pressure on your nerves. This allows the nerves to heal, helps the swelling and inflammation decrease, and keeps you from constantly re-irritating the nerve.
Relieve Muscle Spasm
An unfortunate side effect of sciatica is that you may start to experience muscle spasms. When you’re in pain, you’ll likely begin to adjust your posture. Posture change causes tension in different muscle groups to accommodate the pain in affected areas. This mechanism is called muscular compensation, and it can put unusual strain on specific muscles. Over time, this can cause your muscles to go into spasms if you leave them untreated.
In addition to adjustments, many chiropractors specialize in massage techniques that can help to relieve these spasms. Chiropractors and massage therapists are trained to place pressure that helps alleviate the tension holding the muscle in spasm. Reducing your interventional pain can also help the muscle naturally relax into its normal position.
Restore Range of Motion
As your nerves get more irritated and your muscles spasm, you may discover that you can’t move like you used to. You may have trouble bending down to get things or twisting your back. This can start to have a severe impact on your life, especially if you’d previously led an active lifestyle.
Seeing a chiropractor for sciatica can help to get you moving again and restore your old quality of life. Alleviating some of the muscle spasms we discussed can go a long way towards improving your range of motion. And by getting your spine back into alignment, they can also increase the amount you can move without experiencing pain.
Ease Interventional Pain
Of course, pain relief is one of the most significant benefits of chiropractic care for sciatica. Interventional pain can seriously impact every aspect of your life, from your work to your relationships. You may start to feel isolated and hopeless, and you can be at greater risk for depression and anxiety when you live with chronic pain.
By realigning your spine and removing pressure from your nerves, a good chiropractor can help to alleviate some of your ongoing pain. This can allow you to return to doing the things you love and spending time with your family and friends. You might be able to perform better at your job or even return to work if you were forced to quit.
Learn More About Chiropractic for Sciatica
Sciatica can cause serious long-term discomfort and may have a significant impact on your life. Chiropractic care can be a fantastic, non-invasive way to ease your pain, relieve muscle spasms, and return your range of motion. You can get back to living your life, rather than fighting a painful condition that’s trying to steal your best years.
If you’d like to learn more about chiropractic for sciatica, check out the rest of our site at Preferred Injury Physicians. We are a team of compassionate and professional injury doctors helping people obtain safe, effective, long-term relief from pain. Find a location near you today and start getting the relief you need.