Types of Treatment Chiropractors Use to Treat Sciatica
Sciatica can cause numbness, pain, and muscle weakness in the legs, buttocks, hips, and back. The condition is caused by inflammation, irritation, compression or pinching of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. Initially, most people visit their physician for sciatica treatment but when this proves to be unsuccessful, they often turn to alternative treatment options. Chiropractic care is the most common alternative treatment method for sciatica. Chiropractors may use a variety of treatment methods to treat both the pain and the cause of sciatica.
The most common method used by chiropractors to treat sciatica is spinal adjustment. During this treatment, the chiropractor will attempt to readjust the spine, returning it back to its normal, functioning alignment. This will reduce and possibly eliminate the pinching, compression, irritation, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which will reduce the pain associated with the condition.
In ultrasound therapy, a series of sound waves are administered to the affected area. These waves will penetrate deep into the skin. Benefits of ultrasound therapy include increased blood flow to the sciatic nerve and surrounding areas. Increased blood flow will help to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling of the nerve and surrounding areas.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, commonly referred to as TENS, is another type of treatment used by chiropractors to treat sciatica. TENS treatments send small electrical currents to the area affected by sciatica pain. This releases endorphins into the body, which are known to be natural pain relievers. The results of TENS therapy include reduced pain and muscle spasms.
Other Forms of Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
Cold and ice therapy may be used by chiropractors to treat sciatica pain. This can help numb pain and reduce inflammation. Massage therapy may also be recommended to help reduce muscle spasms. With severe cases of sciatica, a chiropractor may even suggest rehabilitative exercises to help rebuild the muscles.