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What Is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain?

What is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain in Chicago | Chiropractic

Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica, is an incredibly common type of pain that experts estimate 40% of people experience at some point in their lives. This pain can be very disabling and leave one of your legs feeling weak or numb, possibly with a burning or stabbing sensation.

If you have sciatic nerve pain or you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms of sciatica, then seeking treatment is one of the best things that you can do to relieve the pain sooner rather than later.

Never heard of sciatic nerve pain or want to learn more about this unique condition? Read on to discover more about the causes and the best treatment for sciatica…

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is the name of a specific type of pain that you experience when there’s irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is located between the hips and feet and runs down the back of each leg. The location of the nerve explains why the symptoms of sciatica can involve experiencing pain in the lower back, hips, and leg.

Sciatic nerve leg pain, and pain in the hips and back, can manifest itself in many ways, including:

  • Shooting pain
  • Constant stabbing pain
  • Burning pain
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty moving
  • Weakness
  • Tingling

The symptoms of sciatic nerve pain normally only occur on one side of the body, but the experience is very different from case to case. For some people, the pain will only last for a short duration (typically 4-6 weeks) and it will only cause slight irritation. For other people, the pain will last for much longer and can be quite severe.

What Are the Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is generally caused by some form of pressure to the sciatic nerve; the type and location of this pressure can determine the location, severity, and duration of the pain. There’s a long list of causes of sciatic nerve pain, including:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Pregnancy
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Lumbar Subluxation
  • Lumbar Disc Herniation
  • Tumors

Sometimes, other back injuries may also cause sciatic nerve pain. While not generally a cause, the pain experienced can be worse for people that are overweight or accentuated by additional problems, such as inadequate sleeping provisions.

Common Treatment for Sciatica

As you would imagine from the many possible sciatic nerve pain causes, there are a number of treatment options. The treatment advised will largely depend on the severity of the pain and root cause, although in certain cases, like with chiropractic care, some treatments can help with multiple severities of sciatica.

Here are four common treatment options for sciatic nerve pain:

1. Sciatic Nerve Pain At-Home Treatment

At-home treatments can be very effective in treating short-term sciatic nerve pain, as well helping with the recovery process in conjunction with other treatments. Treatments and care at home can include stretching the back regularly, using heat and ice packs, and gentle exercises. If at-home treatments don’t help to reduce the pain, more substantial treatment is often advised.

2. Over-the-Counter Sciatic Nerve Pain Medication

In many cases, an over-the-counter pain medication may be suggested to alleviate the pain. This can work in conjunction with at-home treatment to cope with the pain until it subsides.

3. Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain, along with other physiotherapy treatments, are a very common suggestion for cases of sciatic nerve pain. Unlike some at-home treatments and medication, the purpose of chiropractic treatment is to address the underlying cause of the pain. Chiropractic care can include a range of treatments, such as:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Ice/cold therapy
  • Manual manipulation
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage

4. Surgery

In the worst cases of sciatic nerve pain, where the pain is severe and prolonged, surgery may be an unavoidable requirement to treat the underlying cause of the pain. Surgical treatments vary but can include decompression or intervertebral disc removal.

Depending on the extent of sciatic nerve pain, further treatments may be suggested, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Lifestyle changes

What Is the Best Sciatica Treatment?

Each type of treatment has its own benefits, and in some cases, options like surgery may be unavoidable. Yet, for persistent sciatic nerve pain, the best sciatica treatment is often physiotherapy. In particular, chiropractic care is a highly effective physiotherapy treatment for sciatica.

A chiropractor can help at every stage of treatment, from the initial diagnosis, to relief from pain by targeting the cause of the pain, and afterwards with preventive advice. In general, chiropractic treatment is immensely well-suited to treating sciatica, as it’s focused on helping the body to heal itself through treatments that improve spinal movement.

As well as treating the cause of sciatica, a chiropractor will also be able to advise you on good practices that can prevent re-occurrences of sciatic nerve pain in the future, such as:

  • Which exercises to do at home to improve the muscles in your back
  • How to correct your posture when you’re sitting and standing
  • Which lifestyle changes to make for improved back health
  • How to properly support your back
  • How to improve your diet for optimum health

Chiropractic care is ideal for anyone seeking the best natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain, as it involves non-invasive procedures. The treatment plan will be customized to your exact needs and lifestyle, and you’ll receive ongoing support from a chiropractor that knows your unique medical history. As is the case with many types of back pain, and pain in other areas of the body, chiropractic care is often an effective and rewarding treatment for sciatica.

Sciatica Treatment Chicago

If you’re looking for chiropractic sciatica treatment in Chicago, then the experienced chiropractors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care can help. Our specialist chiropractic and physical therapy services are a natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain that can effectively reduce the pain you’re feeling and address the real cause of the problem.

Contact us today to talk with one of our excellent team about treatments for sciatica. We’ll make sure that your pain is diagnosed and treated. Also, we will support you going forwards for a healthier life now and in the future!

Lower Back Pain Treatment: Chiropractic Vs Back Surgery

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Lower Back Pain Treatment in Chicago

Instances of chronic lower back pain in America are on the rise. It’s estimated that 8 in 10 Americans will have first-hand experience with back pain. With 80% of Americans expected to experience the disabling consequences of back pain, it couldn’t be more important to understand where the best place to turn is if such a problem should occur. Two of the most popular treatment options for chronic, and sometimes moderate, back pain are chiropractic care and surgery. The treatment options are at two different ends of the spectrum of pain relief, with chiropractic care being non-invasive and surgery often being very invasive. However, in many instances, they both offer the same promise of less pain and potentially a permanent or long-term solution to back pain.

But which one is the best option for lower back pain?

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

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Understanding the cause of lower back pain is one of the best ways to determine which treatment type will be the most effective: surgery or chiropractic care. Different injuries can lead to short-term lower back pain, which may only last for a period of a few weeks to a few months, or chronic back pain which can last considerably longer.

It’s commonly the case that a sprain or a strain, caused by a sudden movement, heavy lifting or prolonged poor posture, is the underlying cause of short-term back pain. The damage to the muscles and ligaments in the back can be incredibly painful, but the pain is unlikely to last for more than a few months.

Long-term or chronic lower back pain is often brought about by a more severe injury, and as such, the pain can be more severe and much longer lasting, sometimes requiring more to heal than just time. The injury could cause a fracture, deformity, joint dysfunction or a disc problem, amongst many other underlying issues that can bring about lower back pain.

Depending on the injury, the treatment required to alleviate the pain, and potentially heal the injury completely, will change; but who should you turn to first, a chiropractor or a surgeon?

Surgery for Lower Back Pain

There are many different types of surgical treatment available to treat all manner of lower back pain injuries. Depending on the injury that caused the lower back pain, and the advised surgical treatment, the procedure could be slightly invasive or very invasive; this can impact the recovery time after surgery. Common lower back surgeries include disc replacement and decompression.

One of the main benefits of surgical treatment is that function can often be restored when ability is severely limited due to the back pain. However, back surgery is not normally advised if the pain felt in the lower back is only moderate or if there are no visible indications of the cause of the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment for Lower Back Pain

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Chiropractic treatment is very different to surgical treatment, initially in the fact that chiropractic care is non-invasive. The option of chiropractic treatment is also available for people with minor or moderate lower back pain, as well as those with long-term chronic back pain.

Like surgery, there are a number of chiropractic treatment options available, which will differ depending on the injury that caused the lower back pain. These lower back pain treatments could include:

During a visit to a chiropractor, the pain in the lower back will be diagnosed and a specialized treatment plan will be formed that’ll help to determine the best way to relieve the pain. Unlike surgery, a chiropractic treatment plan will involve treatment that is ongoing in order to target the root cause of the problem causing the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment vs Back Surgery: Which Is Best?

When it comes to chiropractic treatment vs back surgery in Chicago, it’s difficult to determine which treatment option will be best, as both options are very different. However, in many cases, there’s a best treatment option to start with, and for a large number of people, it’s chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care can help to treat the underlining cause of lower back pain in many people, often without the further requirement to have invasive surgical treatment afterwards. As surgery is often deemed to be a last resort treatment, in part due to the longer recovery times and invasive procedures, chiropractic treatment can be the best place to start for a fast and healthy recovery.

In cases where chiropractic treatments are not effective after a pre-established treatment course, surgical alternatives can still be considered to provide a different solution to treating the condition.

Explore How Chiropractic Care in Chicago Can Help Treat Lower Back Pain

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Any uncertainties over the best treatment to alleviate pain in the lower back can often be cleared up via a consultation and examination with one of the professional chiropractors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care. If chiropractic treatment is a viable option to reduce or eliminate back pain, then your local Chicago chiropractor will be able form a personalized treatment plan for you and help you to find the best way to reduce lower back pain and restore a full range of motion.

These Exercises Will Work Wonders For Your Spinal Health

We all know that exercise is good for us. Some of us go for a run a few days a week. Others are sold on the benefits of weight training. Some people without the physical resources to perform more strenuous workouts opt for daily walks. There’s no doubt that any or all of these forms of exercise can be beneficial to your health. But at Advanced Spine & Sports Care we’d like to see everyone add yoga and pilates to their weekly fitness routines because both yoga and pilates are fabulous ways to maintain or improve your spinal health. Here are our five reasons why you should take up yoga or pilates (or both!) no matter what else you currently do to stay fit:

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Strengthen Core Muscles

 

An important aspect of spinal health is improving or maintaining the strength of your core muscles. Your spine on its own can only support about 30 – 40 pounds of body weight so it needs your core muscles to do a lot of the heavy lifting to help keep you upright. When your core is weak, your spine does extra work that wears it down and will ultimately lead to pain and injury. It’s also important that the strength of your core muscles is balanced: weak abdominals and strong back muscles can cause lower back pain. But doing sit-ups isn’t going to rectify this situation. Your posture is mainly supported by muscles deep inside of your body – muscles that are not worked by doing sit-ups. But the postures and movements involved in yoga and pilates are able to reach those deep core muscles, as well as the core muscles closer to the surface.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Improve Flexibility

 

Another key component of spinal health is flexibility. When flexibility is reduced, we run the risk of pushing our body too far and causing injury. The best way to maintain or improve your flexibility is with gentle stretching on a regular basis. Both yoga and pilates deliver this kind of stretching to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are not regularly and properly stretched, they shorten and toughen, which reduces flexibility. This is especially important for those of us who spend hours on end sitting at a desk every day. Our bodies did not evolve to endure that much sitting and, as a result, without other forms of stretching, our muscles, tendons, and ligaments suffer. But don’t worry – even if you’re already experiencing lack of flexibility, it’s never to late to start. Yoga and pilates can help improve your flexibility by gently stretching the areas that need it.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Promote Postural Awareness & Alignment

 

Good posture is really important for spinal health. The spine has a natural curve in it. While the spine is meant to move and be flexible, if it is constantly in an unnatural position, damage to discs and vertebrae and even nerves can occur, which will result in back pain and can even affect other areas of your body. Both yoga and pilates encourage practitioners to focus on correct posture and alignment during different poses and moves. This focus generally translates to a greater awareness of posture and alignment outside of yoga and pilates classes as well. Also, because yoga and pilates are strengthening your core muscles, it will be easier to maintain proper posture and alignment.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates are Preventative and Curative

 

If you are free of back pain – great! Now is the time to start yoga and pilates. Even if you follow another fitness regimen, adding yoga and pilates will almost definitely improve your fitness level, endurance, and performance because of its ability to improve core strength, balance, and flexibility. Keeping your core muscles balanced and strong and keeping the moving parts of your spine flexible will also help you stave off the degenerative process that happens as we age and will protect you from back and spine injuries.

If, on the other hand, you’ve begun to notice a lack of flexibility, balance, or core strength, yoga and pilates can help you repair the imbalances in your body. In fact, even if you are already experiencing back pain or if you are recovering from a spine or back injury, your doctor may actually prescribe yoga or pilates as part of your recovery. This is in part because your doctor will want you to start new habits that will support your spine health, even after your official treatment is over.

 

  • Almost Everyone Can Do Yoga and Pilates.*

 

No matter what your age, fitness level, gender, or weight is, it’s highly likely that you’re able to take part in a yoga or pilates class. Make sure you pick the level that’s right for you and, if you’re brand new to the practice, let the leader know ahead of time. While advanced yoga and pilates can be incredibly difficult, the basics are pretty easy and will still give you substantial spinal health benefits.

We think these are five pretty good reasons for you to give yoga or pilates (or both!) a shot. Since we are passionate about spinal health at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we’d love to see everyone taking up yoga or pilates. If you’d like to know more about ways to maintain your spinal health, or if you are experiencing back pain or pain caused by a spinal issue, we encourage you to contact us online or by phone (773.868.0347) today.

*Always consult with a medical professional before beginning any new exercise routine.