Struggling With Sciatica?
If you are experiencing pain that radiates from the back or buttocks all the way down the legs, you may have a common condition called sciatica. Many people look for a Willowbrook chiropractor so they don't have to suffer with the pain of sciatica, and many never achieve a long term solution. An untreated sciatic condition can continue to worsen and make the daily tasks of living go from difficult to impossible. This article is aimed at helping you to understand sciatica and explains how chiropractic treatment can help you to overcome it.
Sciatica in Willowbrook
Sciatica, which is also known as sciatic neuralgia, is a condition that causes pain in the lower back, down the back of the leg, and into the foot. It can make sitting and standing for long periods of time difficult and can lead to weakness, tingling, and numbness in the leg and foot. It will often come and go throughout a person's lifetime, causing periods of varying degrees of pain and discomfort. If left unchecked, sciatic pain will generally grow worse and the nerve can become permanently injured.
The reason why the pain travels so far, seems to radiate up and down the legs and back, is because it is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. This nerve originates in the lumbar spine and extends into the buttocks before traveling down the leg to the ankle and foot. When the vertebrae in the low back are compressed, the roots of the sciatic nerve can become pinched and irritated which is what causes the pain and injury.
How Do You Develop Sciatica?
There are a number of factors that can lead to sciatica. It is most commonly caused by disc injuries and bulges. In this occurrence, the disc presses against the nerve root causing the issue. Disc Injuries can occur because of poor posture, repetitive use injuries, and accidents. Sciatica is also common when there are subluxations (misalignments) in the spine due to postural issues, pregnancy, or trauma. Some patients say they simply bent over to pick up a piece of paper and they were hit with extreme pain. The reality is that the spinal condition was probably developing for quite some time before the triggering incident occurred.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
Chiropractors in Willowbrook are highly trained to zero in on the source of the sciatica and to work with the patient in determining the most suitable approach to treatment. After a thorough assessment of the individual's unique issue, gentle adjustments are made that will allow the body to recover its natural alignment.
Some people respond very quickly while others take more time to recover. It really depends on the condition of the disc or the joints that the chiropractor has to correct. In most cases, the longer the issue persists, the longer it will take to achieve correction. The great news is that it typically takes less time to fix an issue like this than it took to create it. Once the position of the spine and discs are improved, patients often report improvements to their overall health. If you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica call our team at Complete Health Chiropractic today.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica occurs when a nerve in the lower back is pinched, causing pain to shoot down the leg. This pain can make it nearly impossible to sit or stand normally. The condition can also cause weakness, numbness, or a burning feeling in the affected leg.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica can occur due to several conditions, including:
- Herniated or slipped disc in the lower back
- Tightness or spasm of the piriformis muscle (piriformis syndrome)
- Narrowing of the spinal column (spinal stenosis)
- Slipped vertebrae in the lower back
Some factors increase a patient's risk of developing sciatica, including:
- Degenerative disc disease
Proper diagnosis of the underlying cause is the key to treatment of sciatica, which is why a thorough evaluation from Dr. Menton is necessary.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Patients who come to Complete Health Chiropractic with sciatica symptoms will have their full medical history documented, a physical exam, and X-rays. This information helps Dr. Menton find the location of the injury to determine the cause of a patient's sciatica. Patients with sciatica symptoms may be asked to perform a straight-leg-raise test, which tests the point at which leg pain begins when the patient raises the leg slowly. The test shows Dr. Menton which vertebrae and legs are affected.
How can a chiropractor help with sciatica?
Chiropractic care provides a non-invasive option for treating sciatica. Patients who come to Dr. Menton for sciatica receive custom treatment plans based on the location and cause of their sciatica. Treatment may include:
- Spinal adjustments
- Ultrasound therapy
- Ice therapy
The core focus is spinal manipulation, which frees restrictions in the spine and restores alignment to reduce compression on the nerves. Once the nerves are no longer compressed, the muscle spasms, pain, inflammation, and other symptoms subside.
Can chiropractic care cure sciatica?
Yes. For many patients, chiropractic care is all that's necessary to cure sciatica. If subluxations or nerve compression is the causes of sciatica, chiropractic care provides a minimally invasive treatment option. Some types of sciatica may need additional intervention. For instance, if the disc has degenerated completely, the patient has severe arthritis, or a spinal fracture is found, the patient may need treatment from a medical doctor. Dr. Menton can help patients determine if they need additional care from a spinal specialist.
How can someone prevent sciatica?
Some causes of sciatica can't be prevented, including sciatica from disc disease or pregnancy. Patients can reduce their risk of problems from other sources by:
- Using proper lifting technique
- Quitting smoking
- Regular exercise focusing on core strength
- Using good posture when sitting and standing
- Avoiding sitting for long periods of time
- Receiving routine chiropractic adjustments
To ensure they're doing all they can to protect themselves from sciatica, patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Menton.
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