Chiropractic Talk: Treating Sciatica Without Surgery

November 22 | drsingh


Up to 40 percent of people will experience sciatica, or pain in the sciatic nerve, at some point in their lives. When the sciatic nerve, which branches from the lower back through the hip and down each leg, is compressed, the result can be pain, numbness, or weakness along the path of the nerve. Generally, only one side of the body is affected. The most common cause of sciatica is compression in the spine, such as when a herniated disk, bone spur, or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the openings within the spine) puts pressure on part of the nerve.

Sciatica is characterized by pain that radiates from your lower back down the back of your leg. You might feel pain that varies from mild to severe, sometimes with a sensation like an electric shock or sharp burning, that can be aggravated by moving the wrong way. Pain can occur anywhere along the path of the nerve, or you may feel it along the entire length at once. Prolonged sitting can also make the symptoms worse. At its worst, sciatica can cause significant weakness in the leg or changes to bowel and bladder function.

Mild cases of sciatica may resolve on their own in time, with reasonable self-care. However, if your pain lasts longer than a week, is severe, or gets progressively worse, you shouldn’t ignore it. Untreated severe sciatica can result in permanent nerve damage. Fortunately, even sciatica accompanied by significant pain can usually be treated without having to resort to surgery.

Getting to the Root Cause of Sciatica

Understanding what causes sciatica is key to effectively treating it. It is possible to eliminate the pressure on the nerve and thus remove the source of the pain through noninvasive treatments such as chiropractic and physiotherapy. The advantage to treating sciatica in this fashion is that patients are not only able to return to normal activity without a reliance on medication to relieve pain, but they also are equipped with new habits and techniques that allow them to avoid future episodes of sciatica.

Chiropractic can be helpful with sciatica by ensuring the proper alignment and mobility of the spine. At Singh Rehabilitation, we use hands-on spinal adjustments to help with healing, whether your sciatica is the result of an injury or has developed because of age-related reasons, lifestyle, or other risk factors. When the spine is correctly aligned, compression on the sciatic nerve is removed, alleviating the pain, numbness, and weakness associated with the condition. The number of treatments needed will vary depending on the exact nature of your case, but usually a series of chiropractic sessions is needed to produce lasting relief.

Just as important as achieving proper spinal alignment is strengthening the muscles and using good body mechanics to maintain proper posture and avoid injuries that could cause sciatica to recur. Your treatment program at Singh Rehabilitation will include a personalized regimen of exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles that support your back, correct your posture, and increase your flexibility. Our state-of-the-art gym facility in our Anaheim Hills office gives you the opportunity to work with a professional one-on-one as you return to full, pain-free function.

Achieving Ongoing Lower Back Wellness

Sciatica can be a debilitating condition that makes even ordinary movements and positions painful whether you’re working, enjoying a favorite activity, or trying to rest. At Singh Chiropractor and Rehabilitation, we can help pinpoint the exact cause of your sciatica and develop an individualized treatment plan that uses a combination of carefully selected modalities to address your unique condition. We are the only practitioners who incorporate manual adjustment with physiotherapy, which decreases pain and restores motion as well. Our holistic approach addresses both the physical and mental aspects of your entire well-being, using prevention, education, and treatment to reach and maintain long-term wellness.

We work with patients at all ages and levels of fitness at our Anaheim Hills and Newport Beach locations. If you are looking for a way to relieve your sciatica without medications or surgery, we can help. To find out more about our natural treatment options or to schedule an appointment, contact us here.

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