Relief from Sciatica Pain
What Is Sciatica?
Common Causes of Sciatica Pain
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- Sedentary lifestyle
- Being overweight or diabetic
- Frequent lifting or bending
- Sports injury
- Work injury
- Car accident
Although sciatic nerve pain is more prevalent in patients with one or more of these problems, this type of pain can occur in anyone following recurring muscle strain or an accident. Other frequent triggers of sciatica include hip arthritis, pregnancy, and legs that are uneven in length.
The common factor that takes place during these events is the compression of the sciatic nerve. No matter what causes this compression, whether it’s weight gain, bulging discs, or misaligned vertebrae, it can lead to dysfunction and pain in the lower body.
Sudden back pain can sometimes develop in a patient after bending over to pick something up. Although it can seem like this basic movement caused their pain, sciatic nerve compression develops from underlying conditions over a long period of time, so it is just the last step of a long sequence of events.
Symptoms of Sciatica Pain
Sciatic nerve pain most frequently travels down the back of the legs. This is usually a stabbing or shooting pain, but some patients describe it as a tingling sensation or a dull ache. Sciatic nerve pain can also radiate from the lower back down to the toes.
As well as shooting pain down the legs, weakness and loss of function to the legs, thighs, and toes may be caused by sciatica, making everyday tasks more difficult. It can be challenging for patients with burning or tingling sensations to feel anything in the lower body. This can be dangerous in patients with diabetes because a scratch or cut they might not feel could potentially lead to a serious infection due to this reduction in sensory function.
Devising a care plan for sciatica can be a challenge since the underlying causes and pain varies from person to person. Sciatic nerve problems can be a constant issue or an intermittent flare up. Whatever the case may be, sciatica inevitably affects the quality of a person’s life.
How Chiropractic Works to Eliminate Sciatica Pain
Sciatic nerve pain is addressed at the source with chiropractic for sciatica pain. Any deviation in the spine that interferes with the nerves is known as a subluxation. By eliminating subluxations, we focus on the root cause of sciatic nerve issues. The sciatic nerve is protected by the spine, so keeping it in proper alignment helps to eliminate or reduce compression of the nerves.
The body has an incredible ability to heal, which is a key principle of chiropractic care. We don’t just crack your back and send you away. We strive to help you achieve better health by optimizing your sleep, nutrition, and exercise. We also focus on helping you incorporate other research-proven elements into your life such as mindfulness-based relaxation and a strong social network of friends and family.
Life Source Chiropractic not only helps patients get relief from pain, we also help our patients live better lives. However, we believe that before patients can focus on improving other areas of their lives, they need to have less pain, so we begin with pain relief. Our care plans vary from person to person since we focus on targeting the source of the pain, but some of our most popular therapy options are summarized below.
Whole Body Vibration
Whole body vibration has been proven to be effective at relieving pain in people affected by sciatica and is a common intervention for sciatic nerve pain at Life Source Chiropractic. Sciatica can alter proprioception, or the awareness of the body’s spatial position or movement, which can lead to the dysfunction of the nerves and muscles, causing an increased risk of injury.
Whole body vibration involves the patient standing or sitting on a vibrating platform that transmits energy to the body. This creates a “micro-massaging” effect on the tissues throughout the body, which helps improve blood flow and loosen tense muscles. Standing on the machine alone is enough to challenge proprioception; however, engaging in dynamic workouts while on the platform increases the difficulty, yielding exceptional results.
Muscle function and proprioception are improved with whole body vibration. It’s a wonderful tool for increasing flexibility and range of motion and has also been shown to reduce stress on the joints and ligaments, as well as alleviating sciatic pain.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Spinal subluxations are likely to develop when the muscles are unbalanced. For this reason, we encourage all of our patients to establish an exercise program because it’s the best approach for building flexibility and strength. The spine stays supple and free to move when the muscles that provide stable support are balanced and coordinated.
Although the goal of chiropractic adjustments is to relieve discomfort, an exercise program ensures that patients stay on the path to good health. In order to maintain healthy spinal alignment, the body must form enough muscular support, which can be accomplished through exercise that is performed consistently. At Life Source Chiropractic, we analyze our patients as they stand, sit, and move so that we can assess their muscle strength and movement patterns. We then devise a therapeutic exercise program tailored for each patient that provides the best muscle building opportunity where it is needed most.
Prolonged sitting combined with poor posture over an extended period of time can aggravate or even cause sciatica. One of the fundamental tools Life Source Chiropractic uses as part of posture correction therapy are spinal molding blocks. Although they appear to be just foam padding, these blocks provide fulcrum-like support that are used to gradually re-mold the spine in order to restore its proper curvature.
Spinal molding requires warming up the spinal discs with a targeted sequence of exercises, and then putting the body into a healthy spinal position for 20 minutes while the discs cool down and remain in that healthy position. This method of postural correction is a proven spinal correction technique that, in addition to alleviating sciatic pain, restores normal spinal form and function.
Along with spinal molding blocks, we also promote the use of wobble seats. Special exercises using the wobble seat’s 360 degree rotation combined with its flexion and extension capabilities improves spinal joint health and mobility by warming up and softening the discs, cartilage, and ligaments. This allows the joints to move through a complete and healthy range of motion.
Since the discs, cartilage, and ligaments have no blood supply, their only way of absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste is through motion. Using the wobble seat aids in disc rehydration while also restoring flexibility to the spine and helps the body’s proprioceptors adopt an improved, healthier posture. Consistently maintaining good posture helps ease tense muscles, minimize sciatic nerve discomfort, and enhance lower body performance.
Ultrasound is usually associated with the first joyful glimpse of a baby during pregnancy, but it can also be used to help soothe sciatica. Ultrasound uses comforting heat and sound waves to permeate sore muscles. Heat reduces sciatica pain and the spasms, stiffness, muscle cramps, and swelling that often accompany it by increasing circulation.
When To Seek Chiropractic Care For Sciatica
General homecare such as ice packs and rest may help to resolve mild sciatic nerve pain without professional help, but we advise seeking immediate chiropractic care if the pain:
- Worsens or doesn’t respond to supportive homecare
- Has been happening for over a week
- Results in leg numbness or weakness
- Causes an incontinence episode