If you are feeling some pain that starts from your lower back that goes all the way down through the thigh and the leg or sometimes even down through the foot or the toes, chances are you are experiencing a condition known as sciatica. This pain that is felt in the lower back and downwards typically only affects one side of the body and is caused by several reasons.
This condition is a common experience and is a type of irritation to the sciatic nerve, which is the biggest nerve in our body that begins in the lower back down through the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet.
When you have this condition, you may feel some levels of discomfort and pain, but the good news is that there are ways to solve this problem. And you have various options as well for the kind of treatment that you want to be done. If you are the type who wants to go for a natural and holistic approach to treatment, chiropractic practices may be the best solution for you.
Some Common Causes of Sciatica
Different reasons cause this experience, and some of these are severe injury from either a fall or a slip, repeated actions that may cause wear and tear such as raking leaves or shoveling, the tension on the nerve due to a swollen disc in the lower lumbar spine, an awkward movement such as a forceful sneeze or an unexpected missed a step, or stress on the nerve because of a tight muscle.
This condition can also be triggered by some other factors such as wearing high heels, being overweight, lack of exercise, pregnancy, or a disorder called spinal stenosis, which involves the constricting of the spinal canal in the lower back. Sciatica may also be a result of a condition known as spondylolisthesis, which occurs when a vertebra slips forward on top of another, or may also be due to a deteriorating disease of the disc that affects other discs which provide cushion on the vertebrae.
Because sciatica may be caused just by any sudden or repeated action, there are ways that we can also prevent it from happening. One of the things to help avoid this situation is by making sure that your body is continuously moving correctly and by exercising regularly to enhance the stability of your core while at the same time preventing back pain. Stretching can also help avoid this experience as it sustains flexibility on the lower back and the legs and pelvis. It also removes other pressure that may be increasing in your body. Another way to prevent sciatica is by making a regular visit to your trusted chiropractor. Making this a habit can also lead you away from developing issues in the musculoskeletal area.
Chiropractic Approach to Treat Sciatica
Often, even if we try our best to protect ourselves from having the pain of whatever type, such as this condition, there are just those instances when we cannot avoid having them. When it happens, then we only really have to deal with them. Fortunately, chiropractors can treat sciatica, and they do an individualized treatment plan for every patient.
When you see your chiropractor for treatment, the first thing they do is assess your medical history and do a thorough physical check. Once the problem is determined, then they can recommend the appropriate treatment plan for you. A chiropractor’s goal is to relieve the sciatic nerve’s tension so that regular movements in the lower back, hips, and pelvis can be restored.
Some types of chiropractic treatments used to resolve sciatica are:
- Chiropractic adjustments like spinal manipulation – this technique restores the misaligned vertebrae and loosens the spine’s restricted movement. The pressure may also vary from a gentle to minimal force to a healthy and powerful thrust.
- Chiropractic massage therapy – causes the deep muscles to relax and, at the same time, induces endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
- Cold or ice therapy – relieves inflammation and helps manage the pain.
- Ultrasound – relieves stiffness and pain, muscle spasms, cramping, and swelling. This procedure involves sound waves producing gentle heat that goes deep through the tissues.
- Spinal decompression is used to increase the space in the middle of the vertebrae and stretch the spine.
- Chiropractic exercises – recommended relieving the tension from the tight and inflamed muscles.
- Lifestyle change – a chiropractor may suggest you change or revise how you should sit, stand, sleep, or lift objects so your sciatic nerve will not be damaged or disturbed. Nutritional or dietary changes may also be recommended.
The chiropractor will know which of these approaches will work best for you, and during the process, they will review if some improvements happened. They will check if the pain has been relieved and if movements are already standard. One more thing they do is find out whether the problem coming down from the leg is already going upwards.
There are some symptoms to help you realize if you are experiencing sciatica, and these are persistent pain on one side of the lower back, pain in the lower back or leg that gets worse when you sit down; difficulty, weakness, or numbness when moving the foot or the leg; shooting pain that makes it hard for you to stand up, and a tingling or a burning sensation that runs through your leg.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you do not have to tolerate the discomfort you feel because you may always come to your chiropractor to heal quickly and safely. Getting this condition treated is also essential to avoid further damage that may cause more complications such as insomnia, loss of sensation, or paralysis of muscles or limbs.
Sciatica may be felt at different levels for every person. It can be mild, less frequent than others, severe, irritating, etc. Whatever the severity is, there is that feeling of discomfort that comes with this experience, which is why it is best to get it treated right away.
Having this condition is certainly not a good experience, and can be very exhausting. It can still be healed and resolved through any of the chiropractic approaches in a natural and gentle method. One of the best things about going for chiropractic treatment is that it is less expensive and has fewer side effects that can further harm your body. When going for chiropractic practice, make sure that you go to trustworthy and have the proper license and training. Go to a highly equipped chiropractic clinic that can provide you with what you need in relieving the stress and tension of your sciatica.
If you still do not have your chiropractor, you may ask your contacts, such as your family or friends or other trusted sources, for referrals so they can lead you to the right one. If you cannot get a recommendation from anyone, there are several chiropractic clinics around that you may consider and check out. Just do not forget to do some careful research and ask them questions and tell them your concerns. Also, try calling more than one chiropractor to compare and decide who you would be comfortable with.
If you want to go the traditional way and see your regular family doctor, you may always have this option. Though traditional doctors would usually prescribe some medicines or painkillers to ease the pain and inflammation, or prescription medicines do not work, they may recommend some invasive procedures to treat the condition.
In the United States, sciatica is commonly experienced by individuals between the ages of 25 and 45. If you are within these age ranges, you may want to be more careful with specific body movements to avoid experiencing this condition. You may also consider reviewing some tips on how best to prevent this experience.
This inconvenient experience in the lower part of the spine affects the lower back, hips, pelvis, thighs, legs, and feet.
Sometimes, even the toes can often be unavoidable as they may arise from our everyday activities. If you suddenly develop this condition, see a healthcare provider such as your family doctor or a chiropractor that can help you resolve this concern. Do not merely tolerate the pain when you have many options to heal your sciatica quickly and safely. After all, not dealing with it may lead you to more complications that may give you more health concerns.