One of the most common reasons people seek chiropractic care is due to sciatica, or irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in you body, beginning in your lower back and traveling into you hip, gluts and down the back of your leg and to the feet. But how exactly is sciatica treated?
The most common treatment for sciatica in the chiropractic office is the adjustment. One common cause of sciatica is pressure on the sciatic nerve due to the pelvis, sacrum or one of the lower lumbar vertebra becoming misaligned. When one of these bones becomes misaligned, the resulting nerve pressure can cause any of the common symptoms of sciatica. Chiropractors are trained to find these spinal misalignments and correct them via the adjustment. By correcting the misalignment, the nerve pressure is removed, thus relieving the sciatic pain.
Another less often used treatment by chiropractors is spinal decompression. During this therapy, the patient is put onto a traction table connected to a computer and the the lower back is gently stretched. This specific traction removes pressure from both the nerve and disc. Spinal decompression has been proven to be particularly effective in the treatment of bulging and herniated discs.
Your chiropractor may also prescribe at home exercises for you if you are suffering from sciatic symptoms. These will likely include core exercises to help strengthen you abdominal and lower back muscles. Stretching exercises are also important, particularly targeting the hamstring and glut muscles.
As you can see, there are a number of possible treatments that your chiropractor could use to help treat sciatica. However, in order to determine what the best course of care for your specific condition, be sure to consult a chiropractor before beginning any treatment, especially any at home exercises, since these could worsen your symptoms depending on your case.