Chiropractic Care for Sciatica / Leg Pain
Sciatica is generally caused by sciatic nerve compression. Disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebral bodies), herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting with a wallet in the back pocket. One common cause of sciatica is piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is located in the lower part of the spine, connects to the thighbone, and assists in hip rotation. This muscle is susceptible to injury from a slip and fall, hip arthritis, or a difference in leg length.
Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates in the low back or buttock that travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity and frequency; minimal, moderate, severe and occasional, intermittent, frequent or constant. Pain is described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins and needles or similar to electric shocks. Other symptoms include burning, numbness and tingling sensations. Sciatica is also called radiating or referred pain, neuropathy, or neuralgia.
The type of chiropractic therapy provided depends on the cause of the patients sciatica. A sciatica treatment plan may include several different treatments such as ice/cold therapies, ultrasound, TENS, and spinal adjustments. Ice/Cold therapy reduces inflammation and helps control sciatic pain. Ultrasound increases circulation and helps to reduce muscle spasms, cramping, swelling, stiffness, and pain. TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a small box-like, battery-powered, portable muscle stimulating machine. Variable intensities of electrical current control acute pain and reduce muscle spasms