What is sciatica?
Sciatica is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. The problem begins in nerve roots located on either side of the lower spine, that then course through the sciatic nerve, which runs the length of each leg from the buttock down to the foot. The leg pain, “is often worse than the back pain,” says William A. Abdu, MD, medical director of the Spine Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Usually felt in one leg, the sensation “can be intolerable,” says Birgit Ruppert, a physical therapist at the Spine Center. “Some people liken it to the nerve pain you experience if you have a toothache.”
Why it happens
The most common cause is a herniated disk: When a disk develops a tear or crack and bulges into the spinal canal, it can pinch the sciatic nerve.
Here’s what can help:
According to a 2010 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, sixty percent of people with sciatica who didn’t get relief from other therapies and then tried Chiropractic experienced the same degree of pain relief as patients who eventually required surgery. The 120 people in the study saw a Chiropractor about 3 times a week for 4 weeks, and then continued weekly visits, tapering off treatment as they felt better. In people who responded to Chiropractic care, benefits lasted up to a year. “Spinal adjustments may create a response in the nervous system that relieves pain and restores normal mobility to the injured area,” says study researcher Gordon McMorland, DC, of National Spine Care in Calgary, Alberta. “It also reduces inflammation, creating an environment that promotes the body’s natural healing mechanisms.”
Other known therapies that work include:
- Hot and Cold packs
If you are suffering from back pain, there is no need. Call us today and discover how Chiropractic has helped thousands of others.