Can a chiropractor help with sciatica?

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Posted on 16 July 2020

We often get asked, “Can a chiropractor help with sciatica?” Sciatica causes pain and numbness in the leg and is caused by compression and/or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Symptoms originate in the lower back or buttock, travelling into one or both legs. Whilst sciatic nerve pain is sometimes minimal, it can often be severe and frequent. If you’re suffering from sciatica, it’s a good idea to contact a chiropractor in Doncaster who will be able to diagnose and then treat the condition effectively.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Can a chiropractor help with sciatica?

Sciatic pain can be felt in your buttocks, the back of your legs, and even in your feet and toes. This pain can be stabbing, shooting, or burning, and you may also experience tingling sensations, numbness, or weakness. Symptoms often become worse when moving, coughing, or sneezing. Occasionally, sufferers have back pain, however, this isn’t usually as bad as the pain in the buttocks, legs, or feet. If you only have back pain, it’s unlikely that you have sciatica. Even so, it’s still important to get your symptoms assessed by an experienced chiropractor. 

If you experience any changes to your bladder or bowel habits such as a loss of control or constipation, ‘saddle’ area numbness, or severe leg or back pain, it’s possible you have a serious condition called ‘cauda equina’. If you have these symptoms, it’s important to seek emergency help as soon as possible. 

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica may be caused by several underlying medical conditions. Most commonly, the condition occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated. This is usually the result of a slipped disk in your spine or a bone spur on the vertebrae. Very occasionally, the sciatic nerve can become compressed by a tumour or damaged by a disease like diabetes. The condition can also arise during pregnancy as a result of the growing uterus and foetus putting pressure on the nerve and causing inflammation and pain. There are many possible causes of sciatica. Visiting one of the best chiropractic clinics in Doncaster will help you establish the reasons for your sciatic pain.  

How is sciatica diagnosed? 

What is a chiropractor?

An accurate diagnosis of sciatica is vital for eliminating the pain symptoms you’re experiencing. A professional chiropractor can do this, with their first task being to determine what is causing the condition. As well as reviewing your medical history and carrying out a full examination, they may perform diagnostic testing. Possible tests include an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or other electrodiagnostic checks. 

What does chiropractic treatment of sciatica involve? 

Chiropractic treatment of sciatica is non-invasive, which means that surgery won’t be required. Additionally, it’s completely drug-free, with the focus instead being on helping the body heal itself. There are several therapies available for this condition, with chiropractors in Doncaster selecting treatment based on sciatica’s specific cause.

Often, sciatica treatment includes various different treatments, including ice therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, TENS, and spinal adjustment or manipulation. 

  • Ice is used to reduce inflammation and control sciatic pain. 
  • Ultrasound creates gentle heat which penetrates into deep muscle tissue. This boosts blood flow to the area, increasing circulation and reducing inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and swelling.
  • TENS unit machines transmit electrical impulses through the skin, helping to prevent pain signals reach the brain and reducing muscle spasms. As well as limiting the pain caused by sciatica, Tens Units also work to increase endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. 
  • Adjustments (Spinal Manipulation). Chiropractors specialise in performing spinal adjustments or manipulation. This treatment is commonly performed by chiropractors in Doncaster to free restricted movement of the spine and restore misaligned vertebrae to their proper position. Spinal adjustment can reduce irritation of the sciatic nerve, lowering inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and other sciatica symptoms. Adjustments aren’t painful, and they’ve proven to be both effective and safe. 

Experienced chiropractors will have knowledge and expertise in various adjustment techniques, varying from swift and fast thrusts to those combining gentle pressure and minimal force. Chiropractors have trained for years to learn these effective techniques, mastering the skill and precision required to perform spinal manipulation for sciatica. Chiropractors are highly experienced in treating sciatica, with many having seen hundreds of patients with this common condition. 

Can a chiropractor always treat sciatica? 

Chiropractic clinics in Doncaster can treat many cases of sciatica; however, occasionally the condition is caused by other disorders that chiropractors don’t have expertise in. If the chiropractor establishes that your disorder requires treatment provided by another kind of doctor, they will refer you to a specialist. It’s possible that a chiropractor may continue providing treatment to you, co-managing your care with another specialist.     

How can I prevent sciatica?

Some causes of sciatica may not be preventable, particularly accidental falls, degenerative disk disease, or sciatica due to pregnancy. However, there are steps you can take to protect your back and reduce your risk of developing this painful condition. These include maintaining good posture, especially when sitting down. Choose a seat which has good support for your lower back, a swivel base, and armrests. 

You may also want to consider putting a rolled-up towel or pillow in the small of your back in order to maintain its natural curve. Other things you can do to protect against sciatica include exercising regularly, with a particular focus on strengthening your core back muscles and maintaining a healthy weight.  

Finding chiropractic clinics in Doncaster 

Finding professional and experienced chiropractors in Doncaster is vital for treating sciatica and eliminating the pain you’re experiencing. One of the top-rated clinics in the area is Thorne Road Chiropractic Clinic. We’re fully accredited and renowned for providing a high level of service to our patients, as well as for our highly competitive prices. Our clinic’s team of fully trained chiropractors have a huge amount of skill and knowledge in the field, allowing us to diagnose and treat many cases of sciatica. Sciatica can have a serious impact on your day to day life, particularly if your symptoms are severe. However, with the right chiropractic care, your quality of life can be seriously improved.  

If you would like more information e-mail us here or call on 01302 799 501.

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