Sharp pain, weakness in the leg and foot, and tingling are all common signs of sciatica. This pain is triggered by a pinched sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to each leg. You may feel sciatic pain anywhere within this path, from your lower back, and down your legs.
Most cases of sciatica stem from a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve. But sometimes, a bone spur or a narrowed spine that pinches the nerve can trigger the pain.
Sciatica usually resolves independently, but this condition can lead to persistent pain and muscle weakness if it doesn’t sort itself out. In this case, it’s a good idea to seek out the help of a chiropractor.
Can a Chiropractor Help with Sciatica?
You have several treatment options for sciatica, most of which involve making necessary changes to your lifestyle and seeking chiropractic care for sciatica.
A chiropractor can help you naturally ease the pain and improve your mobility. More importantly, they can help keep sciatica from recurring. Chiropractic treatment goes beyond caring for your back, leg, or other areas with musculoskeletal issues—it targets your entire body.
How Can Chiropractic Care Relieve Sciatica?
Strained and painful bands of muscles or “trigger points” often accompany sciatica. They can pinch the sciatic nerve, resulting in extreme pain across the back and legs. In an article on how chiropractors can relieve sciatica, chiropractor Andrew Bang, DC stated that deep pressure helps ease trigger points. The pressure on trigger points firmly presses the muscle fibers, causing them to relax.
Chiropractic care for sciatica can also help with inflammation. Manual therapy (another standard chiropractic treatment) lessens inflammatory compounds called cytokines near trigger points.
How Does a Chiropractor Treat Sciatica?
The care a chiropractor can provide for sciatica depends on what’s causing it. Before starting your treatment, the chiropractor will ask you about your pain and health history. These details will help them get to the root cause of your pain and formulate an appropriate treatment plan for you.
Chiropractors can use the following methods to address sciatica:
Chiropractic care mainly involves spinal adjustments. In this procedure, your chiropractor will put controlled, sudden pressure on a spinal joint using their hands or a small instrument. Spinal adjustments can:
- Improve the spine’s mobility
- Realign affected vertebrae
- Decrease nerve irritation that causes inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and other symptoms of sciatica
Chiropractors have mastered various manipulation techniques for different conditions. These techniques range from a rapid thrust to those requiring less force and gentle pressure. Learning each technique takes immense skill and precision so chiropractors can relieve pain and improve the body’s overall function.
Ice or Cold Therapy
These chiropractic modalities help decrease inflammation and ease your pain. Applying ice to the affected area for inflammation reduces tissue metabolism and oxygen intake. As inflammation goes down, so will the swelling.
Moreover, ice lessens the skin’s nerve conduction to relieve sciatic pain. It even cools muscle fibers, which results in fewer muscle spasms.
You may receive instructions for specific at-home exercises for sciatica during your treatment. Performing these exercises ensures effective treatment and lasting results. You can learn simple exercises from your chiropractor as you get the necessary care.
Finally, chiropractors may recommend specific lifestyle changes for sciatica relief. For instance, your chiropractor may help you change how you stand, sit, sleep (especially if you have lower back pain and sciatica), and lift. This way, you can get stronger back muscles, meaning fewer chances of spinal discs pinching your sciatic nerve.
Ease Sciatic Pain with Effective Natural Remedies
Chiropractic care is a good option if you’re looking to relieve sciatica. Chiropractors can help you reduce pain and other symptoms accompanying this condition. Furthermore, these professionals help you prevent sciatica’s possible return. A chiropractor can provide relief through the best methods for you, making your treatment personalized and effective.