If you haven’t had any luck in treating your sciatica through prescription medications, steroid injection shots, all is not lost and it does not mean that spinal surgery is your only option to relieve your sciatica effectively. It is important to understand why prescription medications and steroid injections sometimes fail to provide effective long-term relief from sciatica.
Most prescription medications aim to treat only your symptoms and do not treat the underlying cause of your sciatica. Steroid injection shots also provide symptomatic relief and reduce inflammation without treating the underlying condition that triggers your sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
When the sciatic nerve which originates from your lower back and travels down the back of your legs is compressed, pinched, irritated, or inflamed, it causes pain in the lower back that radiates down the leg along the path of the sciatic nerve, referred to as sciatica.
What is the Root Cause of Sciatica?
A herniated disc in the lower back or the lumbosacral region is the most common cause of sciatic nerve compression leading to sciatica. Several factors can result in a herniated disc including wear and tear related to aging, degenerative disc disease, repetitive physical activities, and trauma or injury.
A healthy spinal disc is responsible for absorbing shocks and keeping your spine flexible during movement. A spinal disc herniation occurs when the inner soft jelly-like core of the disc leaks through a crack from the thick outer layer.
A bulging or herniated disc in the lower back can compress one or more of the five nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve causing sciatica. A herniated disc in the spine may also result in the formation of a bone spur which can irritate or compress the sciatic nerve triggering your sciatica pain.
Several other spinal conditions also cause sciatica. The narrowing of your spinal canal, which is referred to as spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis which occurs when one or more of the spinal vertebrae slips or shifts forward may also compress the sciatic nerve and trigger an onset of sciatica.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
Chiropractic treatment of sciatica is based on treating the underlying cause of your sciatica pain and hence this treatment is effective in providing long-term relief from sciatica pain. It can be a great alternative to avoid back surgery and treat the underlying root cause of your sciatica.
The optimum treatment plan to treat your sciatica is determined by your chiropractor based on a thorough physical examination, medical history, pain index, and underlying cause of your sciatica. Most chiropractic treatment for sciatica involves a combination of physical therapy, spinal manipulation, spinal decompression, therapeutic massages, and home-care treatment.
Non-surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy
This is a safe, effective, pain-free, and non-invasive treatment that creates negative pressure and gently stretches your spine. The controlled and targeted stretch is performed using the spinal decompression table and controlled by sensors and computer-aided technology.
Spinal decompression relieves pressure on the spine and encourages the influx of nutrients and oxygen to the herniated disc promoting natural healing. A study published by the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorder Journal determined that non-surgical spinal decompression promotes retraction or repositioning of the bulging or herniated disc and is associated with effective pain relief.
Spinal Manipulation Therapy
Spinal manipulation performed by the chiropractor provides targeted relief by restoring misaligned spinal vertebrae to their original position reducing irritation to the sciatic nerve effectively treating your sciatica.
A study published by the National Library of Medicine reported that spinal manipulation of the lower back improved lower back and leg pain as well as increased mobility of patients with sciatica in just five sessions!
Physical therapy involves movements, stretches and exercises performed to improve flexibility and strengthening your muscles. Physical therapy is generally performed in conjunction with spinal manipulation or spinal decompression for effective relief from sciatica pain.
Therapeutic massages can promote the circulation of nutrients and oxygen, relax muscles, increase flexibility, reduce stress and stiffness, and encourage natural healing.
Avoid Back Surgery
Surgery for sciatica is not recommended unless in a medical emergency where you develop sudden worsening pain or lose control of your bowel and bladder movement. Chiropractic care can be an excellent option to avoid back surgery and is a safe, cost-effective, and natural way to relieve your sciatica pain and start to live pain-free.
Needing to know about your options to help you with your Sciatica pain? Reach out to our office today to book your appointment so we can help in your return to great back health.