At its core, sciatica is the nerve root injury or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. This injury is caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve that runs along the front of the pelvis and down from the hip. It is one of the four major nerves that go to the back of the body and is responsible for reducing the feeling of motion or stiffness in the lower back. These nerves are called sciatic nerves because their nerve root is inside the front of the pelvis, near the opening of the sartorius muscle, and sometimes due to daily activity, the nerve is compressed or rubbed, causing pain.
People with sciatica may experience pain at the spine, leg, and foot at any time, but symptoms tend to develop later in the day. They tend to get worse with movement, so people who have sciatica may be able to move their legs but be unable to move the other.
A key consideration to keep in mind is that sciatica can affect any joint and will be relatively stable, unlike other types of pain. Some people with sciatica report that if they avoid activities that involve standing for more than a few minutes, they may be able to control the pain. The pain, however, usually gets worse if the affected area is moved.
Symptoms of Sciatica
- Pain in the leg or in the rear that gets worse when you sit down
- A tingling or burning feeling running down your leg
- Numbness, weakness or difficulty when moving your foot or leg
- Constant pain in one side of the rear
- A shooting pain that makes it hard to stand up
- Note that the condition usually affects one leg and not both.
Causes of Sciatica
- Irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine
- Narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back referred to as spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease that affects the discs cushioning the vertebrae in the spine
- When a vertebra slips over another, a condition known as spondylolisthesis
- Pregnancy which increases the strain on the spine
- A trapped nerve in the lumbar spine that affects the sciatic nerve
- If one of the discs in the spine bulges out, also known as disc herniation or a slipped disc
- Piriformis syndrome where the piriformis muscles found in the rear (where the sciatic nerve runs under or through), gets tight thus irritating the sciatic nerve
- When knots in the rear muscles or lower back cause a pain sensation going down the leg mimic sciatica symptoms
- Excess weight
- Poor exercise
- Wearing high heels for a long time
- Sleeping on an extremely soft mattress
- Paralysis of a single limb
How Can A Chiropractor Help with Sciatica?
A medical professional will examine the patient and check the medical history to determine the underlying cause of sciatica. Most doctors often prescribe medication to treat the pain. However, a chiropractor can rely on any of the following treatment options.
1. Ice/Cold Therapy – It helps in reducing inflammation in the affected area and pain from sciatica. It’s a natural method of treating sciatica compared to using medication.
2. Ultrasound – Here, the chiropractor uses gentle heat created by sound waves. The heat penetrates deep into the tissues. The treatment procedure increases circulation, reduces cramping, muscle spasms, stiffness, swelling, and pain. It’s also a natural treatment method that doesn’t involve any medication or invasive surgeries.
3. Adjustments (Spinal Manipulation) – A lot of chiropractic care treatments revolve around spinal adjustments. Through manipulation techniques, the chiropractor removes any restricted movement of the spine and restores misaligned vertebral units into the right position. The chiropractor can either use gentle pressure and minimal force or a swift high-velocity thrust for the best results.
Chiropractic care is a great way of treating sciatica because it’s not invasive and doesn’t involve the use of medication. Note that most people get addicted to pain pills, so it’s best to use natural methods to avoid these negative consequences. If you suspect that you might be suffering from sciatica, you should have a trained physician check the symptoms for a proper diagnosis. Don’t wait too long to contact a chiropractor in Seattle, Washington, for the best treatment options for sciatica.
We at Lake Union Wellness have 13-years of experience offering Sciatica Treatment in Seattle, and through our natural and holistic approach, we have established a trusting relationship with our patients that allows them to feel comfortable and treated like family.