When you have been experiencing sciatica pain for months and years (we call this chronic sciatica), it can be difficult to build the hope of living a pain-free life. However, remission from sciatica is achievable through effective treatment of the underlying cause of your sciatica.
Several medical conditions can cause sciatica. However, the most common cause of sciatica is herniated or slipped disc in the lower back region. A study published by the BMJ medical journal reports that a herniated or slipped disc is responsible for 90% of sciatica cases.
Aging, degenerative disc disease, repetitive physical activities that strain your lower back, obesity, and several other medical conditions cause the inner gelatinous core of the spinal disc to leak through a crack in the thicker outer layer of the spinal disc resulting in a bulging or herniated, or slipped disc.
When you get a herniated disc in the lower back, it often causes direct or indirect compression of one or more of the sciatica nerves resulting in radiating sciatica pain. A herniated disc often results in a bone spur which may irritate and compress your sciatic nerve resulting in sciatica. Sciatica is often accompanied by symptoms including muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, and shock-like sensation down the back of the leg.
Treatment Options for Sciatica
Chronic sciatica treatment depends on the underlying cause and the intensity of pain and can vary from person to person.
Unfortunately in our opinion, The first go-to treatment of sciatica is usually a combination of prescription medications aimed to relieve pain, inflammation, and to relax the muscles. However, prescription medications fail to treat the underlying cause of sciatica. Prescription pain medications have numerous side effects and are not recommended for long-term use.
Epidural corticosteroid or steroid injection shots are expensive and provide short-term pain relief from your sciatica. However, a study published by the National Institute of Health concluded that epidural corticosteroid injections offer only short-term relief from pain to patients with sciatica and are not recommended for effective pain relief from chronic sciatica.
Spinal Manipulation and Spinal Decompression Therapy
Non-surgical spinal decompression is a safe, effective, non-invasive way to cure sciatica by treating the underlying cause of your pain. Spinal decompression therapy works by creating negative pressure and gently stretching your spine.
Spinal decompression is performed using specialized medical equipment that includes the spinal decompression table, sensors, and computer-aided technology. Your chiropractor feeds a specific algorithm into the computer based on what each patient requires for treatment. This algorithm controls the pull force on the decompression of your spine. The attached sensors continuously provide feedback so that the pull force is not too much nor too little for the patient and can be reduced if required. This micro monitoring through sensors prevents muscle guarding which is your muscles’ natural resistance against stretch and pull force.
Spinal decompression also encourages the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the herniated or slipped disc to promote natural healing of the spine.
A study published by the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorder Journal concluded that the negative pressure generated by non-surgical spinal decompression therapy promotes retraction or repositioning of the bulging or herniated disc and is correlated with increased disc height. The restoration and increase in height of the spinal discs result in effective pain relief.
In another study published by the National Library of Medicine, it was observed that just five sessions of lower back spinal manipulation improved lower back and leg pain as well as increased mobility of patients with lumbar disc herniation which is the leading cause of sciatica.
Your chiropractor can help determine the most effective treatment plan including home care exercises, therapeutic massages, in addition to spinal manipulation and spinal decompression therapy. This combination of doctor and patient working together will help heal your underlying condition naturally and treat your sciatica.
Surgery for Sciatica
Surgery is only considered when all other non-surgical options fail to provide relief. Surgery is expensive and comes with several risks and side effects. It also has a long recovery time, requires rehabilitation therapy, and is not recommended for most sciatica cases. However, if you experience sudden, worsening pain, loss of control of bowel or bladder movement, then you may require immediate medical attention and surgery. Rarely, your sciatica may be caused due to a tumor in the lower back that is compressing your sciatic nerve. As always, consult with your doctor.
You Can be Cured of Sciatica
Your chiropractor will determine the number of sessions required to achieve effective and long-term relief from your sciatica based on your physical examination, medical history, pain index, and the underlying cause of your sciatica. Just know it is possible to remove sciatica and live a pain free life.
Avoid back surgery and cure your sciatica through non-surgical spinal decompression and spinal manipulation. Irrespective of the cause of your sciatica, it is possible to get relief and cure sciatica through conservative non-surgical treatment. Contact your chiropractor for an informed recommendation.