Sciatica can affect people of all ages. The main clinical feature of sciatica is radiating leg pain, but it may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as leg weakness or numbness. The pain from sciatica can range from mild to severe, and can start to affect both work life and personal life.
As a result, people often seek symptomatic relief from chiropractors. Chiropractic treatment for sciatica pain typically involves manual adjustments to the spine, as well as stretches to help alleviate the pain and improve function. Keep reading to learn more about sciatica and chiropractic treatment in Edmonton.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition characterised by pain that radiates along the route of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the foot down the back of each leg. The pain is often described as a sharp or burning sensation.
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc, which occurs when the gel-like centre of a disc bulges out and presses on the sciatic nerve. However, anything that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve can lead to sciatica, including conditions like osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal tumours.
Some of the common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Radiating leg pain
- “Hot” or burning pain
- Aching in the back, leg, or foot
- Lower back pain
- Pins and needles or tingling
- Reflex impairment
- Weakness in the affected leg and foot
- Difficulty with tasks like lifting
Diagnosis For Sciatica
Sciatica is usually diagnosed by a doctor. The doctor will ask about the history of symptoms and may request imaging if the pain is persistent or if there are neurological deficits. It is important to seek medical help for any symptoms that are severe or unrelenting, particularly if there are other red flag symptoms like loss of bladder and bowel control which may indicate a serious underlying medical issue.
Treatment For Sciatica
Sciatica can be complicated to treat as nerves are often sensitive or irritable. In many cases, the treatment for sciatica is multifactorial. Doctors are involved to assess the symptoms and rule out other more severe diagnoses. They may also prescribe medications to alleviate the pain and allow increased participation in other therapies, such as physiotherapy or chiropractic care.
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Chiropractic Techniques For Sciatica
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment option for individuals suffering from sciatica. At Revive Spine and Sport Physiotherapy Clinic in Edmonton, our sciatica chiropractic treatment does not rely on prescription medications or surgical procedures, making it a preferred choice for those looking for a natural approach to manage their symptoms. The techniques our chiropractors use can help improve movement habits and symptom management.
Some specific techniques that our Edmonton chiropractors may use to manage sciatica include:
- Spinal manipulation: Spinal manipulations are a core treatment of chiropractic care. This involves the use of gentle pressure and manipulation to help reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. The process can help ease the symptoms of sciatica.
- Spinal decompression: Spinal decompression involves techniques to gently stretch the spine and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Muscle work: Chiropractors may use soft-tissue techniques such as massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy to help relieve muscle tension and improve muscle function.
- Stretching exercises: Chiropractors may also recommend stretches to help improve the flexibility and strength of the muscles in the back, legs, and hips to help alleviate pain and improve movement.
- Hot and cold therapy: Depending on the patient and severity of their symptoms, the chiropractor may recommend either heat or ice. When applied correctly, these can help with short-term symptom relief.
- Education: Education is an important aspect of chiropractic treatment for sciatica. This may include information about the condition and the effect of the treatment, along with instructions on the types of movements and positions to promote healing.
- Lifestyle changes: Chiropractors can also promote positive behaviour changes to improve symptoms and prevent recurrence. For example, they may recommend better ways for sitting and standing, sleeping, or even lifting.
Each patient, their condition, and their symptoms are unique. As a result, the specific treatment plan will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs, and will be decided in a discussion between the chiropractor and patient. It’s important to seek only experienced health clinicians for chiropractic care to ensure the right treatment is used and to avoid making the symptoms worse.
Sciatica Can Be Effectively Managed
The symptoms of sciatica can be debilitating. Pain, numbness, and aching symptoms can be disruptive to everyday activities and even affect health-related quality of life. Certain helpful treatments are available for sciatica, including chiropractic care. Chiropractic techniques, such as spinal manipulations and muscle work, can help alleviate the symptoms of sciatica and restore movement.
To learn more about chiropractic care for sciatica, visit our chiropractors treatment expert in Edmonton today!