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
- Difficulty moving
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
- Muscle Spasms
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Lumbar Subluxation
- Lumbar Disc Herniation
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 Decompression Therapy
- Spinal adjustments
- Ice/cold therapy
- Manual manipulation
- Ultrasound Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- (TENS Unit) Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
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
- Anti-inflammatory treatments
- 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!