Anyone who has experienced the pain of sciatica will know what a misery it can be. The sharp stabbing pain that can begin in the lower back or buttocks radiates outwards into the hamstring muscle of the thigh and even down into the calf muscle of one or both legs.
At Chiropractic and Allied Health, we see many patients who are experiencing Sciatic pain that may also be associated with numbness, tingling (pins and needles), muscle weakness and pain in the groin. For some, the pain is so severe in intensity that it feels like getting an electric shock.
What is Sciatica – and What Causes It?
Sciatica is not a condition, but a symptom of an irritation or compression of the sciatic nerves comprising the five pairs of nerves that exit from the vertebrae of the lower back, branching to extend into the upper and lower leg and the foot.
There are several causes of sciatic nerve irritation or compression,
- Surprising things such as being constipated, not sitting squarely (having something like a wallet in one back pocket for example)
- It is a common problem during pregnancy and for patients with Diabetes
- Misalignments within the lumbar spine or damage to the discs between the vertebrae that can cause them to rupture, herniate, bulge outwards or prolapse
- Referred pain, either from the pelvis or lower back or from myofascial trigger points in the buttocks
- Stress on the sciatic nerves results in pain and inflammation and once a patient has the problem, even small actions such as coughing or sneezing or standing or sitting for long periods can bring on the pain
Sciatica can begin suddenly after an accident or injury. For most patients who begin to experience sciatic pain in their 40s or 50s, it is the result of wear and tear, over time. Poor posture, poor muscle tone and lack of core strength, weight gain … in fact, a whole list of little things that all add up until one day, something as simple as bending to pick up a child’s toy or tie a shoelace can trigger the pain.
Why You Need To See Your Chiropractor
As explained there are several reasons why patients experience the pain of sciatica so it is vital to get an accurate diagnosis so that a treatment program that addresses the root cause of the problem, can begin right away.
Call your local Chiropractic and Allied Health practice today. Our aim is to assess and identify the cause of sciatica in a detailed initial consultation. This involves a thorough physical examination to identify symptoms and to determine whether this is new pain or a recurring problem. In some cases, an X-Ray or MRI scan may be required and we can arrange a referral if necessary.
If the cause of a patient’s sciatic pain is biomechanical in origin, an appropriate treatment plan can begin right away. This may include reduction of muscle tension and inflammation with soft tissue therapy, gentle Chiropractic adjustments and/or Osteopathic manipulation, to correct any misalignment of discs or vertebrae within the lumbar spine, and exercises that a patient can continue at home, specially designed to improve range of movement and reduce pain.
Are prescription medications relieving the symptoms without treating the cause?
A visit to a GP for patients affected by sciatica often ends with a prescription for anti-inflammatory, pain relief and/or muscle relaxant medications. However, while these may relieve the symptoms, they do not address the root cause.
More and more patients are turning to Chiropractic as a safer more natural, conservative option as their first choice for many of the common causes of sciatic pain without the need for drugs with their potential for unwanted side effects, or for invasive surgery. Call Chiropractic and Allied Health today for an appointment to see whether we can help in your case.
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