When to see a doctor for sciatica pain
Sciatica is a painful condition caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The pain you can feel from this condition may start in your lower back and reach all the way to your toes or may appear at seemingly random points in-between – and often only on one side.
While many people will simply live with the pain and manage it with the use of painkillers, there comes a time when you will need to see a chiropractor to deal with the problem. Painkillers do not solve the problem and will only mask the pain, leaving the root cause of the issue untouched. To heal fully, you will need to treat the cause and restore your body to full working order.
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and is what gives sciatica its name. When the sciatic nerve is impeded in any way, the transmission of pain signals to the brain can be affected. This can mean that the sensation of pain can be felt anywhere along the sciatic nerve. The nerve runs from the lower back, through the hips, down each leg, and into the feet. Effectively, it covers the whole lower body.
Sciatica is often felt as a radiating pain anywhere along the run of the nerve, and the pain can become quite severe. You may find that the little twinges of pain you feel are easily managed and do not last long, but once the pain affects your quality of life (and potentially your ability to move freely) it is time to see a doctor.
Due to its root in the lower back, sciatica can be felt or worsened with almost any motion, as most bodily movements will involve the back in some capacity. A chiropractor is a doctor who specializes in the care of bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints, and knows how the whole body works in relation to your musculoskeletal frame.
What Can a Chiropractor Tell Me?
First and foremost, a chiropractor will be able to determine if the issue you are facing is sciatica. Other conditions may cause pain in the lower back, legs, and feet, and while sciatica is one of the most common causes, it is always worthwhile receiving a professional opinion and diagnosis.
Your chiropractor will also understand where the root cause of the problem with the sciatic nerve lies. It is commonly found that compression or irritation will happen to the sciatic nerve in the lower back, but other locations along the nerve are also prone to problems.
Finding the source of the problem will allow the chiropractor to effectively treat the issue. This is vital to ensure that your pain is reduced permanently, and not just as a temporary measure.
What Can a Chiropractor do For Sciatica?
As a chiropractor understands how each part of the body physically works with each other part, it is often clear that certain conditions are caused or triggered by the misalignment of structures within the body. This may be a misaligned spine, an issue with a joint in your leg, or some other problem.
By gently manipulating the body by hand or with the use of equipment, the misalignment can be resolved. If, for example, a misaligned disc in your spine is putting pressure on a nerve, proper realignment will relieve the pressure on the nerve and reduce or eradicate the pain you feel.
In other cases, it may not be possible to immediately resolve the issue, but your chiropractor will still be able to assist with pain management techniques. These techniques include other types of body manipulation and massage, as well as less well-known techniques such as dry needling.
This is a treatment wherein a non-medicated needle is inserted at trigger points of the body to promote healing and reducing the tensing in muscles that may be caused in response to a pain stimulus.
Other treatments include various types of electrical physiotherapy. This can be ultrasound to manage pain and regain mobility, interferential stimulation to improve the response of the body’s natural healing processes, or treatments including heat or nerve stimulation.
Each treatment is designed to help with the healing process while reducing the amount of pain you feel, making it easier for you to cope with the pain that sciatica may cause.
Getting Treatment for Sciatica
We know that every patient we treat is an individual and you will have different needs and requirements for any other patient. That is why whenever you choose to visit us, we’ll perform an initial evaluation of your condition to understand which method of treatment will be best for you.
It is common to think that chiropractors only treat back issues, but this is not true. Chiropractic treatment includes the whole of the body, although it is true to say that many problem are related to the neck and back due to the number of nerves that run through the area and the number of joints in the spine.
Chiropractic treatment for sciatica is effective and not painful – forget any images you may have seen on TV of back cracking and the like, as modern chiropractic care is compassionate and carefully delivered. Manipulations are gentle, and as you can see, many other treatments will resolve the issues you face around sciatica.
If you are struggling with radiating pain in your lower body, please get in touch with us. We care for your health and wellbeing, and nothing makes us happier than seeing a patient healed and ready to live life on their own terms again.
Sciatica does not have to be a lifetime sentence to pain and an inability to move. Choose to see a doctor of chiropractic care as soon as you can, for the earlier your treatment begins, the sooner you’ll be able to live a pain-free life again.
We look forward to hearing from you – call (225) 766-2952 today to find out more about how we can help you resolve your sciatica pain.