Chiropractic For Sciatica
Sciatic pain is a throbbing or burning feeling that can make day to day life extremely uncomfortable. Typically it is described as pain that runs from the back to the lower leg. For some people the pain can be severe. For others, it is infrequent and irritating.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and is actually a bundle of five nerves that start at the lumbar spine and sacral foramen. The nerves are grouped together in the buttocks at the piriformis muscle to form one large nerve that runs the length of the leg. When this nerve is impinged, pressured or damaged it causes a variety of issues including:
- Throbbing or burning pain in the lower extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle numbness
- Tight, strained muscles around the inflamed area
- Shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- Difficulty moving the leg or foot
- Partial paralysis
- Constant pain to one side of the buttocks
- Usually only affects one side of the body
Sciatic pain is often caused by:
- Herniated or slipped disc in the back
- Piriformis syndrome
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Prolonged sitting
- Poor posture
It is most common in pregnant women, those with herniated discs, and those who suffer from arthritis or are overweight. As the body ages, the risk increases for sciatic nerve issues because of the age-related changes to the spine.
Can a Chiropractor Help With Sciatica?
Chiropractors are of course well known for making adjustments to the spinal column and neck but they are also well equipped to deal with nerve pain issues like sciatica. The Rejuvenation Center’s own Dr. Brad Miller is an expert in the physiology behind sciatica. Rather than just looking at the pain, he will work to readjust the spinal column to reduce pain and pressure on the affected area. Additionally, manual therapy such as chiropractic is a non-invasive solution that does not require medication – though it can be part of a treatment plan under the oversight of a doctor.
Can a Massage Therapist Help With Sciatica?
Since sciatica is not the cause of the pain but a symptom, effective massages by a well trained therapist can do wonders. When sciatic pain flares up, a side-effect is often tight lower back muscles that only make the pain worse. Massage can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve and promote blood flow to the inflamed areas thereby oxygenating the muscles to help them release.
The Rejuvenation Center takes a whole-person approach to sciatic pain treatment. After a consultation with our doctor, both chiropractic and massage therapies will form a comprehensive treatment plan designed specifically for you. We will find the source of your sciatic pain, and then work to alleviate both the pain and the cause throughout your sessions.
Though every situation is different, a treatment plan may include one or a combination of the following therapies:
Deep tissue therapy
A targeted deep pressure massage that focuses on the deeper layers and on tissue surrounding muscles. Treatment aims to relieve chronic muscle tension and acute pain and may involve slow static pressure and deep breath techniques. When working with sciatic pain, this will likely include deep static work in the glutes to access the piriformis and hip opening moves.
This type of massage is specific to a medical issue or necessary therapy such as those found in sciatica.
Trigger point therapy
Trigger points are tiny nodules that form within muscle tissue and can refer pain to many different areas of the body. Rather than working on the areas where pain is felt, trigger point therapy seeks to identify and release the trigger point itself thereby eliminating all referred pain. Treatment involves consultation, frequent feedback, and a series of pressure and release cycles.
Highly effective when treating nerve tissue damage, craniosacral is subtle work that produces powerful results. This modality aims to unwind and release stuck facia, the tissue surrounding and connecting all muscles. This can stimulate the nervous system and allow healing to take place. Treatment is relaxing and focuses on the spinal column including the neck, the head, and the sacrum.
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