Sciatic pain is often described as tingling, pain or numbness produced by an irritation or entrapment of the nerve roots (3rd lumbar to the 3rd sacral nerve roots) that make up the Sciatic Nerve. Sciatica occurs when this nerve is compressed, irritated or inflamed. The typical referral pain of sciatica pain begins in your back or buttocks and moves down the back of your leg, radiating around the outside of your knee and lower leg into your big toe and second toe. Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the leg may also occur.
Sciatica can result from different stresses on the body, however it’s most commonly caused by a misalignment (subluxation) in the lower spine and pelvis that results in interference to the sciatic nerve. Although not always associated with pain, these subluxations can apply a good deal of pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause severe pain. Often traumatic events are not the cause of sciatica and less commonly noted causes would include arthritis, tumours, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and any degeneration as a result from long-term stress on the lower back. A Chiropractor is trained to find the underlying cause of the problem and will enlist the help of other health professionals if the cause is beyond the scope of chiropractic.
Many times people with sciatica wait until the pain becomes unbearable before they contact the Chiropractor. Waiting can cause long-term damage. It is important that you contact your Chiropractor when the pain originally begins. The first thing your Chiropractor will do is review your complete health history to determine when the problem began and the possible causes. Then a complete physical and chiropractic exam is performed and x-rays may be taken. Your Chiropractor will review and discuss the results with you and make recommendations for care.
The Chiropractic approach does not cover up the symptoms associated with Sciatica, but actually finds and takes care of the underlying causes. If nerve supply is diminished at all it must be restored so the body can repair and function optimally. Along with proper chiropractic adjustments, a program of rehabilitation is prescribed to maximise soft tissue healing and to build strength and stability to the area to prevent future injuries.
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