Treatment for sciatica is regularly provided by doctors through chiropractic methods. A common condition, sciatica is often caused by a bone spur or herniated disc that is pressing on the sciatic nerve. It can also occur as a result of tumor, pregnancy, and other conditions, such as constipation and diabetes. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down both legs, which means that sciatic pain often travels from the back down one or both legs.
The pain experienced from sciatica can range from minimal to severe, and can be intermittent or constant, depending on the patient and the cause of the pain. Many patients describe sciatic pain as being similar to electric shocks or pins and needles. Others report that the pain is achy and dull.
Since sciatic pain can come in many different forms and frequencies, and can also be caused by a variety of issues, it can be challenging to diagnose it. By reviewing your medical history and symptoms, and utilizing diagnostic test such as x-rays, your doctor can help determine the best approach to treatment.
Through chiropractic treatment of sciatica, your body’s potential for healing itself is improved. This method is non-invasive and involves no medications. The exact treatments that your doctor will suggest depend on your unique needs, but treatment options include:
- TENS Unit – A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit, or TENS, is a small machine that stimulates muscles. The machine is portable and battery-powered. It sends electrical currents and varying intensities in order to reduce muscle spasms and control pain.
- Spinal Manipulation – Also known as chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulation realigns vertebral bodies to their correct positions and frees up restricted movement of the spine. These adjustments can help to reduce the symptoms that are related to sciatica, such as inflammation and muscle spasms, by reducing nerve irritability. Spinal manipulation is a comfortable treatment method.
- Cold Therapy – Through the use of cold therapy (also known as ice therapy), you can reduce inflammation and in turn control sciatic pain. Your doctor will determine how often you need to apply ice to the affected area.
- Ultrasound Therapy – Ultrasound therapy utilizes sound waves to create a gentle heat that penetrates tissues. This action increases circulation in the targeted area and helps to reduce pain and muscle spasms.