By: Dr. Steven Balestracci, Total Health Chiropractic
In today’s article we will be discussing some of the causes and solutions to addressing these common problems that 95% of human beings suffer with at least one time over a lifetime.
For Sciatica sufferers, a good night’s sleep may be past and with this low back condition simple things like walking, bending, turning, sitting or standing up can become difficult or impossible.
What is the Sciatic Nerve? Your sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your body. It begins in your low back and is the sum total of five nerves that join together like a web to form one large nerve that extends into the backside of your pelvis, buttock, thigh, knee, calf, ankle, foot and toes. When this, the largest nerve of your body, becomes inflamed and causes intense pain into the back of your leg the condition is called Sciatica. This pain may follow the path of your nerve down the
backside of your entire lower extremity into your toes or can simply radiate across and into your low back. Although Sciatic pain is usually in the back side of the legs or thighs, in some cases the pain can be on the side or front of the legs and hips. Other symptoms associated with this pain may be burning, pins and needles, tingling, prickling, crawling sensations, tenderness and even numbness. This pain and its accompanying symptoms may vary throughout the day and can last for days, weeks or even months if not addressed properly.
How does this nerve become inflamed? Like many conditions Sciatica has many causes. Injuries to the spine are the main reason and can occur through auto accidents, sports injuries, slips and falls, improper lifting or bending, poor posture, house work, gardening, and even childbirth. These causes inherently create misalignments of the spinal vertebra through ligament damage and are called Spinal Subluxation. Other causes of Sciatica are slipped/bulging or ruptured/herniated or degenerated discs, arthritis, constipation, tumors and even vitamin deficiency.
How would someone go about taking care of Sciatic pain? People who only want pain relief may consider treating only the symptoms with painkillers, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory medications, injections and in extreme cases surgery while others choose a more natural treatment approach such as massage, yoga, physical and physio therapy, nutrition, acupuncture and of course chiropractic spinal adjustments. In many cases it is a combination of treatments that work best. As a chiropractic physician we utilize a host of therapies, as mentioned above, in conjunction with spinal
adjustments in order to decrease nerve and muscle inflammation, muscle spasm and joint inflammation. Spinal adjustments are administered in order to remove nerve pressure, disc pressure and joint dysfunction which creates a lack of balance and continued irritation.
Many sciatica sufferers have experienced dramatic relief after chiropractic adjustments have been administered by a chiropractic physician who is highly trained to treat such a condition as well as many other spinal and joint conditions. Many sufferers of sciatica and leg pain have found that chiropractic adjustments were superior to general traction and pain injections, and often saved them
from spinal surgery. In one controlled study four different approaches were used to deal with low back pain in sciatic problems. These treatments were spinal care, general traction and two types of injections. The group that had spinal experienced the greatest degrees of recovery. Interestingly enough a large number of the general traction category eventually required surgery. In another study, 20 patients age 20-65 with low back relatedly leg pain were divided into three groups that were given medical care, chiropractic care and steroid injections. After 12 weeks the medical and steroid injections showed no advantage over the safer, non-drug related improvements the chiropractic patients experienced. Chiropractic treatments appear to have been most effective on sciatica when used first. Unfortunately many people think medical care first. However, even in this group of people, excellent results were obtained with subsequent chiropractic treatment as mentioned earlier. In another study 3,136 people with lower back pain and sciatica pain who previously had physiotherapy and medications with no positive results were given chiropractic
care. A follow-up two years later showed that 50.4% had excellent results with no painful relapses, 34.4% had relapses but then responded favorably after further chiropractic care while 15.2% showed no significant improvement.
Finally, if you do have sciatica, from whatever cause, you should seek treatment from a chiropractic
physician in order to receive chiropractic spinal adjustments for the purpose of removing spinal subluxations that cause nerve, disc, and joint pressure as well as inflammation and muscle spasms. Eventually these issues can lead to sciatic and other types of pain. Interestingly enough, in order for a person to be in pain from these problems he/she must lose as much as 60% of the nerve function in that region.
Therefore, if you or a loved one are interested in discovering and experiencing the full benefits that chiropractic care can provide please mention this article when calling our office,
Total Health Chiropractic at 908-231-8088 and our staff will be happy to set up a complimentary
consultation in order to discover how we may help your health care needs.