Sciatica is a common issue, causing varying degrees of pain and disability for millions of adults in the United States.
Pamela V. Ford, DC, here at Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center in Carrollton, Texas, takes a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating painful spinal conditions like sciatica.
If you have sciatica pain, our team wants you to know about the benefits of chiropractic care in promoting spine health and long-term relief from your discomfort.
Understanding the sciatic nerve and causes of sciatica
The sciatic nerve originates from five nerve roots on each side of the lumbar and sacral spine that merge, creating the right and left sciatic nerve. From there, each nerve travels down through the pelvis and buttock to the back of the thigh and calf.
The nerve splits at about knee level, creating branches that serve the outer knee, outer foot, heel, and bottom of the foot. Smaller branches of the sciatic nerve also provide sensation in the hips and inner thighs.
It’s the longest and largest nerve in the body, about the diameter of a penny at its thickest point. It helps with movement and provides sensation throughout the areas it serves.
Common causes of sciatica include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative changes in the spine, and other factors that can cause compression and irritation of the sciatic nerve.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica is loosely defined as “nerve pain” coming from irritation and inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which can impact any area the nerve serves.
The pain usually starts in the lower back or hip and travels down the back of the affected leg, sometimes reaching as far as the foot. However, you may also experience sciatica pain that sometimes seems to originate in the thigh, calf, or other areas.
It’s typically described as a burning or electric shock-like pain that may be triggered by coughing, sneezing, or bending. Along with pain, you may experience tingling, muscle weakness, and numbness in affected regions of the skin’s surface.
While not usually considered “dangerous,” sciatica can significantly impact one's quality of life, making even routine activities challenging. Although rare, permanent nerve damage can occur, causing chronic muscle weakness, pain, or numbness that may make walking difficult.
The chiropractic approach to sciatica
Chiropractic care focuses on the relationship between the spine and nervous system, aiming to alleviate pain and improve overall health without using medications or surgery.
At Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center, based on your evaluation, Dr. Ford uses a variety of techniques to address sciatica, including:
Gentle spinal adjustments help realign spinal vertebrae, reducing pressure on the sciatic nerve. This helps improve nerve function and alleviate pain.
Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation. It can be targeted to the affected area to promote tissue repair and alleviate sciatica pain.
Exercise and rehabilitation
Dr. Ford often prescribes physical therapy, including specific exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, promoting better posture and reducing the likelihood of sciatic nerve irritation.
Why choose chiropractic care for sciatica?
The benefits of chiropractic care for sciatica include:
Chiropractic care provides a noninvasive alternative to surgery or medication, focusing on natural methods to relieve pain and promote healing.
Dr. Ford considers your overall well-being and tailors treatments to fit your needs, addressing your symptoms and the underlying causes of sciatica. This holistic approach aims for long-term relief.
Many people experience improved range of motion and functionality after chiropractic care, enabling them to engage in daily activities more easily.
Sciatica can be debilitating, but chiropractic care can help you regain pain-free mobility and improve your overall quality of life.
Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Ford at Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center today. Call the office or request an appointment online.