How can chiropractors help with sciatica?
As chiropractors we get asked can you help with sciatica a lot. When you think of which problems chiropractors help, you probably think of back pain. While this is the most common thing we treat, we also treat other conditions such as Sciatica. Sciatica can be a strange condition and there is a lot of misinformation out there that can potentially be misleading. The aim of our post is to answer some common questions that people with sciatica have, and embolden you that if you have sciatica, there is a lot that can be done to help you!
What is sciatica?
Firstly, we have to look at what do we mean by sciatica? Sciatica simply means irritation of the sciatic nerve. This frequently causes symptoms such as low back or buttock pain that radiates down the back of the legs, sometimes all the way to the foot but often just to the hamstring or calf areas. The discomfort can often be accompanied by pins and needles down the leg, or sometimes even numbness and weakness. Sciatica normally improves within a 4-6 week timeframe. However, it can sometimes be a lot longer than this.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica can produce a lot of pain and other symptoms due to something pressing or rubbing on the sciatic nerve. This pressing or rubbing can be related to a specific injury, but sciatica can also develop over a longer time frame without a pre-existing injury. This can often be very puzzling and worrying but it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Things that can cause sciatica include:
- Injuries to the discs between the vertebra in our spine
- Spinal stenosis – an age-related process whereby the part of the spine where nerves pass through becomes narrowed
- A build-up of muscular tension in the buttock which then irritates the sciatic nerve
- Other back injuries
Whatever the root cause of sciatica, there is a lot that can be done to help reduce the irritation on the nerve and reduce your discomfort.
Is sciatica helped by chiropractic care?
YES! Chiropractors can help sciatica. The important step in working out how to help guests with sciatica is trying to understand what the underlying cause of sciatica might be. This allows the chiropractors to target the treatment at the root cause of the discomfort, allowing long term improvement and injury prevention in the future, rather than just masking the symptoms. Therefore, the particular treatment you might receive for your sciatica will differ from someone else’s when you come to see a chiropractor. Chiropractors are expertly trained to assess and treat problems related to the musculoskeletal system, and Chiropractors can help with all the causes of sciatica mentioned above.
Chiropractic care doesn’t describe one specific treatment but includes a range of care techniques. At Bolton Spinal Health, we often treat our sciatica patients with a combination of joint manipulation, soft tissue release and massage including corrective exercises for our guests to try at home to speed up recovery. This combination not only helps to reduce pain in the short term but also helps them to keep living their life to the full without returning to the same pain once treatment slows down like it would with most other treatments (like tablets etc).
IDD Therapy and Sciatica
Bridging the gap between hands-on physical therapy and invasive procedures, the IDD Therapy programme offers a non-invasive targeted disc treatment for patients with sciatica.
Safe and gentle pulling forces are used to distract (draw apart) and mobilise specific spinal segments where discs are damaged or herniated, removing pressure and irritation from targeted discs and trapped nerves.
Patients receive a structured programme of regular IDD Therapy sessions, allowing the body to adapt to treatment whilst progressively relieving pain and improving mobility. For long-term sufferers, a series of treatments is needed to achieve long-lasting therapeutic changes.
Distracting and mobilising the disc(s) in this way is particularly relevant given the sometimes indistinct origins of sciatica: opening up the disc space promotes the flow of nutrients and oxygen, assisting the dilutionof any inflammatory toxins which may be causing irritation to the sciatic nerve whilst also relieving pressure from it.
We would recommend IDD Therpay to those who need it and if the guests body wasn’t responding to the hands on chiropractic treatment they were receiving. IDD Therapy is a good and effective way to ensure the body receives the treatment it needs.
If you are struggling with symptoms of sciatica and would like to know more about how Bolton Spinal Health can help then please call us on 01204 848 887 to book your first consultation with one of our trained chiropractors.