Can A Chiropractor Help With Sciatica?

By Dr. Philip Cordova

February 1, 2024


Can a chiropractor help with sciatica? It may surprise you to find out a chiropractor is exactly who you should call first if you’re experiencing pain in your hip, lower back, and down your leg. If you’ve tried ice, heat, and over-the-counter medications and the pain only seems to be getting worse – it’s time to find a good chiropractor.

Low back pain that shoots into the glute or down the back of the thigh can be indicative of sciatica, a common but very treatable problem. Rather than resorting to medication or assuming that you need surgery, consider seeking chiropractic care for sciatica. Here are some compelling reasons why chiropractic treatment can give you the best results.

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica involves inflammation and swelling of the sciatic nerve and surrounding muscles, typically affecting one side of the body. The pain associated with sciatica, ranging from mildly annoying to incapacitating, can result from a herniated disc, spinal dysfunctions like spinal stenosis, or piriformis syndrome, where the piriformis muscle involuntarily tightens causing sciatica.

Sciatica is not exclusive to the elderly; individuals between 30 and 50 years old, pregnant women, and those leading sedentary lifestyles commonly experience it. Patients of all ages can present with sciatica-like symptoms to our office on a weekly basis.

can a chiropractor help with sciatica

How Can A Chiropractor Help With Sciatica?

Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractors utilize specific adjustments to address sciatica. Using minimal force and gentle pressure, they adjust vertebrae and joints to realign the spine, alleviating pressure on the sciatic nerve and promoting muscle healing.

In our office, we will start with an examination and any necessary spinal x-rays. When evaluating your x-rays, we will take measurements to make sure we know which way to adjust the spine. We also look for leg length discrepancy.

Leg Length Evaluation

This is an aspect of the human structure that is often overlooked. We’ve noticed that sciatica patients often have long-term low back pain, and they can also have a leg length difference causing instability in their lower back and pelvis.

You may have a functional leg length difference or an anatomical one, and our leg length evaluation can determine the difference down to the millimeter. It’s amazing how often sciatica pain can go away when the legs and pelvis are stabilized.

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy works to restore the disc height, which is the space between each vertebra that allows for the nerves to flow happy and healthy. If the disc height has decreased, there is a greater chance of inflammation and impingement on the sciatic nerve, leading to pain and discomfort.

The decompression therapy gently uses mechanical force to pull the vertebrae and then returns the spine back close to where it was before the pulling began. It then repeats this motion, increasing blood flow to the affected spinal disc.

Additional Therapies

Chiropractors utilize various healing modalities such as ultrasound, cold-laser therapy, TENS devices, hydrotherapy, and ergonomic guidance to enhance circulation, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and improve posture.

In our office, we provided electrical stimulation, mechanical traction, PEMF therapy, and HEIT therapy as needed. Your care program is personalized to your needs.

Home Exercises & Stretches

Chiropractors will recommend specific exercises to strengthen back, hip, and glute muscles. A dedicated stretching routine, complemented by gentle yoga and home exercises, aids in maintaining flexibility, preventing further spinal compression, and fostering long-term healing.

So, can a chiropractor help with sciatica? — YES! Chiropractic care aims to address the root cause of sciatica rather than merely alleviating symptoms. Reliance on over-the-counter or prescription painkillers may be minimized or eliminated, and long-term relief is possible without surgery or other invasive procedures.

Before sciatica becomes overwhelming, consult a chiropractor for relief and restore normal movement and alleviate nerve pressure. The duration of chiropractic treatment varies based on pain severity and causative factors and many patients continue periodic visits for preventive care. There are many long-term benefits of ongoing care for continued wellness and maintenance.

Consider chiropractic treatment for sciatica to experience a drug-free, non-surgical approach to healing that addresses the source of your pain, aiming for lasting relief and improved health.

Dr. Philip Cordova

About the author

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to become a chiropractor after hurting his back as a teenager and getting help from chiropractic care. He is speaker on health & posture. Click Here To Read His Full Bio

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