Sciatica is a common condition affecting about 40% of Americans in their lifetimes, caused by irritation to the sciatic nerve which runs from the lower back, hips, buttocks, and down each leg. This pain ranges from mild to severe, to the point of making movement difficult.
While many people turn immediately to pain medications when sciatica pain strikes, a visit to a chiropractor is a low risk, high reward way to alleviate your pain. A chiropractor treats sciatic pain without the use of medication and its side effects.
Sciatica is typically identified by the shooting pains, or burning or electric sensations emanating from the lower back or hip area. Sciatica can develop gradually over time, similar to arthritis, or may come on quickly from a sudden injury, such as an auto accident.
Symptoms of sciatica include numbness, weakness, or pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs that worsens with movement. While there are inevitable risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing sciatica, like aging or labor-intensive careers, proper chiropractic treatment can help relieve pain and prevent future pain.
Typically, the shooting pains associated with sciatica are more of an annoyance than serious symptom, there is a chance it's indicative of a more serious medical condition. Speak to your doctor to rule out other possible conditions, such as:
- Spinal Stenosis: This is a condition that is caused when foramina, small openings in the bone, in the spine narrow and reduce space for the nerves. Over time, the spinal nerves could become constricted. This leads to pain, numbness, and/or weakness in the neck, back, arms, or legs.
- Herniated Lumbar Disc: Spinal discs are found between the spinal vertebrae. They absorb shock, permit movement in a wide range of directions, and offer upper body support. A disc is made up of a soft center surrounded by a tough casting. Over time, the soft center disappears, which results in a harder, flatter disc. This disc could then crack and irritate a nearby spinal nerve. The result is pain that travels through the buttock and down the leg.
- Muscle Spasm: Muscle spasms are a defense mechanism. By contracting under intense conditions, the muscle protects itself from damage. Muscles interact with the nerves, and a muscle spasm could compress the sciatic nerve and cause pain.
How DOES Chiropractic Treatment Relieve Sciatica Symptoms?
Our Austin chiropractors use the most advanced techniques to treat patients as effectively as possible, helping patients on an individual level to provide the most successful treatment possible. Some common chiropractic techniques include:
- Spinal Manipulation: Adjusting the spine is the main treatment sciatica chiropractors perform. This returns the spine to its ideal condition, allowing free movement and effective functionality. This can help relieve the nerve irritation that causes sciatica, and can also help with lower back pain and neck pain.
- Massage: A massage helps alleviate sciatica pain by relaxing tense muscles, which may be applying pressure on the sciatic nerves. Not only does a massage relieve pain, but it also stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals. There are many types of massage options to choose from, depending on your personal preference.
- Applying Heat/Cold: By applying heat or cold as appropriate, the inflammation, stiffness, and pain associated with sciatica is reduced.
Chiropractic treatment is safe, effective, and completely personal, including any at-home stretches or exercises your chiropractor may recommend to prevent future sciatica pain.
Chiropractic Sciatica treatment in Austin
When dealing with sciatica, everyday tasks can become a burden. Seeing a chiropractor about your pain allows for an organic healing process and benefits that can be felt long after your visit—Trust First Family Wellness Chiropractic for all your sciatica relief needs.
Return to life without the inconvenience of sciatica. Make an appointment online or call (512) 361-5788 to get in touch with the best chiropractors in Austin.