Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
Sciatica goes by many names, including sciatic neuralgia, and sciatic neuritis. They all describe a pain in the lower back and buttock. The pain can radiate down the leg. Most of the time, the radiating pain stops by the knee, but it can radiate down to the foot.
Causes & Treatment
There are a number of different reasons why we develop sciatica. The most common causes are:
- Piriformis Muscle Spasm. The piriformis is a broad muscle in the mid portion of the buttocks. It’s job is to externally rotate the thigh bone. The sciatic nerve is right underneath the muscle. If there is any irritation of the muscle, it can interfere with the nerve and pain is a result. Chiropractors are trained to help ease the muscles and joints back into proper function.
- Disc Injury. Although the sciatic nerve runs down the back of the leg, and most of the pain is felt there, the origin of the pain could be right at the spine, right at the roots of the sciatic nerve. Often the disc injury creates inflammation around the roots of the sciatic nerve. Proper spinal alignment and proper motion of the spinal joints can help the body with its natural movement and cleansing processes. Proper movement patterns help the tissues to flex and pump, pushing the waste materials along, thus reducing the inflammation of the area.
- Subluxation. Life is motion and motion is life. A subluxation is an altered alignment and altered movement of a joint. If the spinal or sacroiliac joints are not moving correctly due to subluxation, this can create a condition known as ‘nociceptive afferent bombardment.’ It essentially means, the sensory nervous system become overwhelmed with altered signals. This can cause protective splinting of muscles and promote inflammation around the nerve. Of course, all this ‘bombardment’ is happening in the spinal cord and primitive parts of the brain, so we are not aware of what is going on; we don’t always feel the pain. The subluxation is a forte of the chiropractor. We are better trained to fix these than any other health care professional, hands down.
Certainly, there are other causes of sciatica including, infection, tumor, or anomaly. All of these things can be ruled out by your chiropractor. If you think you are feeling some sciatic pain, call your local chiropractor and be evaluated. If you are suffering from sciatica, you can expect your chiropractor to apply physiotherapy (like ultrasound, electrical muscle stim, heat), stretches, and corrective spinal manipulation. These protocols are safe and effective. If you are in the St George UT area, I recommend the Innova Pain Clinic.
Dr. Andrew White
Sciatica Chiropractor | St George UT