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Posted on 10-02-2017
Sciatica is one of the most common reasons that patients seek chiropractic treatment. Its intense shooting pain can be so debilitating that patients can't function in their everyday life. At Symmetry Chiropractic & Acupuncture we've successfully treated hundreds of sciatica patients, using a variety of techniques.
If you're experiencing a pain that begins at or above the buttocks, and that travels down one or both legs, you're dealing with sciatica. It's caused by the sciatic nerve being compressed, which can happen for a number of reasons. This nerve pain can vary in intensity from mild to severe, and can also be intermittent or constant. The pain can be dull or sharp, can feel like pins and needles or like electric shocks. You may also feel burning, numbness or be tingling along with the pain.
Sciatica isn't really a disorder. It's actually a collection of symptoms from a disorder caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. This can be caused by any number of issues, such as:
The purpose of chiropractic treatment is the allow the body to heal on its own. This is based on the principle that if your spinal movement is restricted, that will eventually lead to pain, lack of function, and poor performance. Sciatica treatment using chiropractic follows this principle by treating the problem in a number of different ways, all the while avoiding surgery or drugs to solve the problem.
The way we will treat your sciatic depends entirely on the cause of your problems. The first step in treatment is always diagnosis, and we'll use a variety of methods to find out what's causing your sciatic nerve pain. Diagnostic testing can include an MRI, CT scans, nerve conduction velocity tests, electromyography, or x-rays. These tests and examinations can also help to detect possible conditions that prevent safely using spinal manipulation or some other treatment methods we might consider. Once we find out the cause of your problem, our doctor reviews your medical history and give you a physical exam, as well as a neurological examination. Then, he will be able to devise a personalized course of treatment for you. Some of the methods we may use are:
Ultrasound We use sound waves to create gentle heat that can penetrate deep into your painful tissues. Ultrasound can increase circulation, which works to reduce swelling, cramping, stiffness, pain, and muscle spasms.
Ice and Cold Therapy The application of cold to the affected areas can reduce inflammation and help to control pain.
TENS Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, is an electronic device shaped like a box. It's battery powered, small and portable, and is designed to stimulate certain muscles. It gives off variable intensities of electric current, which can control muscle spasms and much of the worst of acute pain. There is home use TENS units on the market, and we use larger versions of these in our office to control sciatica symptoms and to promote your body's natural healing process.
Spinal Manipulation or Adjustments Spinal adjustments are at the core of all chiropractic practice. This manipulation frees the spines restricted movement and helps misaligned spinal parts to move back to their proper positions. Spinal manipulation can also help to reduce the nerve irritability at the core of sciatica, which is responsible for muscle spasms, pain, inflammation, and other sciatica symptoms. Spinal adjustments shouldn't be painful but should help to relieve pain, often immediately after the manipulation is finished. When done by an experienced chiropractor, spinal manipulation has proven to be a safe and effective method for treating sciatica nerve pain and symptoms.
Sciatica can be painful enough to prevent you from enjoying your everyday activities, such as playing with your children, walking around your home, going to work or doing basic home chores. Sciatica rarely gets better on its own -- in fact, without treatment it often gets worse. Our knowledgeable and experienced chiropractic team is ready to help you heal as quickly and easily as possible. Call our office at 630-983-1805 today for an appointment, and we'll get you back on the road to a healthy and pain-free lifestyle.
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