Sciatica is a common complaint which can vary a great deal in its severity – for some, it’s an additional annoyance which you’d rather be without, but for others, it can be debilitatingly painful. Thankfully, we can help.
Sciatica can range from a feeling similar to a constant deep dull toothache or a tight string going down the back of the leg to a lightning sharp stabbing pain that goes from the buttock to the foot. It can often be accompanied by leg cramps, pins and needles, numbness and in more severe cases, a loss of strength in the calf, shin or foot muscles. The pain can vary from a low-grade ache to a debilitating pain where walking is almost impossible as a person can barely put any pressure through their leg.
Sciatica is often associated with lower back pain and in many cases, patients will have had years of recurrent lower back pain which then stops and is followed by sciatic pain. Some also experience both conditions together, which can be very difficult to live with.
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve which in turn is often due to disc injury or a “slipped disc”, but it can also result from spinal degeneration narrowing the holes from the which the sciatic nerve emerges out of the spine, or from cysts and tumors which develop around the nerves inside the spine. In other cases, Sciatica can be the result of muscular imbalances in the pelvis such as in Piriformis Syndrome.
True Sciatica is notoriously difficult to resolve – but thankfully Chiropractic has a good track record in this respect. The first step in any sciatica case is, however, to ensure that Sciatia is, in fact, the correct diagnosis. We see many patients show believe think they have sciatica when in fact the pain they experience is being referred from damaged joints, muscles, ligaments and tissues in the lower back – in this instance, its simple to treat these issues with chiropractic care.
Where referred lower back pain is ruled out, x-rays are beneficial in helping to understand the cause of sciatica – thereafter beginning treatment early helps in achieving a good result. A combination of chiropractic care, massage and acupuncture can be a good approach to dealing with Sciatica. In cases where sciatica has been left to progress, more nerve damage can occur and residual symptoms may remain such as foot weakness and numbness once the pain has disappeared.
At Complete Chiropractic our chiropractic approach is directed at achieving effective relief from sciatica as quickly as possible by using a variety of spinal adjustments, manipulation and exercises to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and then developing a corrective plan to help prevent it from returning.
Why choose Complete Chiropractic?
At Complete Chiropractic, we have a wide variety of specialisms and diagnostic facilities right here at the clinic – this means we can quickly get to the bottom of your sciatic pain and then provide a coherent and individualised program.
Since 2014 it has known that a combination of manipulative therapy and an exercise-based program (our preferred approach) is the most effective way to combat sciatica. A 2014 paper reported greater improvements in most patient-rated outcomes, including pain and disability, after 12 weeks of dual chiropractic and exercise care. Patients treated with a dual approach report significantly reduced pain, use of medication, disability and most importantly show high satisfaction with their treatment.