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Can a Chiropractor Help with Sciatica?

Jan 9, 2022

Can a Chiropractor Help with SciaticaUp to 40% of people will experience sciatica at some point in their adult life. While these instances usually resolve on their own, that is not always the case, and an untreated instance can lead to chronic pain or muscle weakness. When it comes to sciatica treatment, there are many options, including chiropractic care, but those unfamiliar with the practice may be unsure if it’s the right fit for their condition. Read on to learn more about what sciatica is and why chiropractic care is an effective method of treating the condition.

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica refers to pain that results from the sciatic nerve being pinched or compressed. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, beginning in the lower back and traveling past the hips and buttocks, down each leg. Sciatic pain can occur at any point on this path and may be felt throughout the entire nerve. However, most people only experience pain on one side of their body.

The pain can be mild or debilitating and may take the form of an electric shock-like feeling or a deep and aching pain. One of the most common signs of sciatic pain is a feeling of numbness, weakness, or tingling in a single leg or foot.

Sciatica can be caused by a number of issues that result in the nerve being pinched or compressed. The most common cause is a herniated disc in the spine, though bone spurs and spinal stenosis are also likely to lead to sciatica.

Managing Sciatic Pain

If you are experiencing early signs of sciatica but are not yet visiting the chiropractor, there are some methods of natural pain relief you can implement at home. This may ease the pain temporarily but will not heal the underlying cause, which should be diagnosed by a chiropractor.

Some tips for relief include:

  • Take breaks from sitting throughout your workday.
  • Use low-impact exercise to regain strength.
  • Stretch the hip and hamstring muscles.
  • Use ice and heat in an alternating rotation.
  • Try yoga.
  • Get a massage.
  • Try acupuncture.

While these may work for you, only a chiropractor can diagnose and treat the root cause of your sciatic pain.

Chiropractic Care for Sciatica

The goal of chiropractic care is to ensure the spine is in alignment. When this is not the case, it makes you more likely to experience problems such as herniated discs or displaced tissue, which can pinch nerves and cause sciatic pain. When a chiropractor performs a manual adjustment, it not only reduces the pain, but also heals the cause of your sciatica for long-term relief through natural treatment.

When you visit an Atlanta chiropractor, they will first discuss your symptoms with you and perform a physical evaluation to determine what may be causing your symptoms. Sciatica itself is usually diagnosed through these processes, but you may need imaging or further tests to determine the underlying cause of your pain. With this information, the chiropractor can build a treatment plan. The goal is to address the cause of your pain, return the spine to alignment, and eliminate your symptoms.

Chiropractors may use a variety of techniques to accomplish these goals. Manual adjustments are the primary form of treatment, but massage and stretches can also be incorporated. It is also common to work with a physical therapist alongside your chiropractor in order to strengthen your muscles and prevent future injuries.

Many people actually prefer this form of care for sciatica because it is not invasive and does not involve a long-term reliance on medication. Instead, the body is healed naturally. Some cases may be severe enough that more invasive measures, like surgery, are necessary, but this is rare.

When to Seek Treatment

If you suspect sciatica, it is always best to reach out to a chiropractor early on. Symptoms often worsen as the underlying condition remains untreated, and you can end up with chronic pain if it is not addressed in a timely manner. If you notice symptoms of sciatica that do not resolve after a few days or respond to home remedies, then it is definitely time to seek out more care.

At AICA Orthopedics, our chiropractors are experts in finding and diagnosing the cause of your pain, then creating tailored treatment plans for each patient. Our goal is to heal your sciatica with as little intervention as possible and to bring in other experts when necessary to your recovery. Contact us today to begin finding relief from sciatic pain!

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