Have you been experiencing shooting pains throughout your lower back or legs? Has this leg pain affected you so badly that you’ve been stuck on the couch in your recliner for hours at a time?
If so, there’s a good chance that you’re suffering from sciatica pain. And if that’s the case, you should know there’s a way to find relief from sciatica pain here in Bentonville, AR.
How To Know If Your Back Pain Is Sciatica
Several conditions can cause symptoms such as acute or chronic back pain, from muscle weakness to a compressed disc, so you may be wondering how you can know for certain if you’re struggling with sciatica in particular.
Sciatica is caused by pressure or pinching on your sciatic nerve, which runs along the back of your leg. Anything that places consistent pressure on the sciatic nerve, such as a herniated disc or a misaligned vertebra, can cause sciatic pain. One of the telltale signs of sciatica is the feeling of pain traveling from buttocks down your legs, or just from your leg down toward the foot region.
In addition, if you only experience this pain on one side of the body rather than both, or if you have a feeling of “pins and needles” in the back of your leg, odds are good that you do in fact have sciatica.
The Nature of Chiropractic Care
If you’ve determined that you probably have sciatica, you may be wondering just what exactly a chiropractor can do for you. Chiropractic treatment focuses on correcting ailments typically caused by misaligned vertebrae. These misalignments, known as “subluxations,” can have negative effects on nerves, muscles, and connective tissue.
By examining a patient and performing gentle corrections (known in the chiropractic care field as “adjustments”) over a period of time, a chiropractor can return the spine’s vertebrae to their proper alignment, thereby relieving pressure being placed on nerves or muscles by the aforementioned subluxations.
Apart from adjustments, many chiropractors can perform massage, provide health and wellness advice, and more.
How Can a Chiropractor Help Your Sciatica?
Chiropractic care is a great way to seek relief for multiple conditions, with sciatic pain being one of the most common pain issues addressed by many chiropractors. Roughly 40% of adults in the US suffer from sciatica at some point in their lives, meaning chiropractors expect to see this condition frequently.
Since chiropractors focus on addressing a patient’s musculoskeletal pain concerns (which is an umbrella that sciatica certainly falls under), they are well-equipped to help you with your sciatic pain. By performing a careful physical exam followed by gentle adjustments, a chiropractor can often get to the bottom of whatever is placing pressure on your sciatic nerve.
And by identifying and relieving that pressure, a chiropractor can potentially provide both short- and long-term relief of pain. In addition, as medical professionals, chiropractors can also give you a referral to other specialists who can provide further relief, such as an acupuncturist or a physical therapist.
Gentle Spinal Manipulation
Spinal manipulations, the most common form of chiropractic adjustment, are the bread and butter of any practicing chiropractor and form the basis of most chiropractic treatment plans.
Chiropractors use a series of careful and controlled yet quick thrusts to your affected joints (typically in the spinal column) in order to correct your alignment. While chiropractors are often seen performing these adjustments by hand, many skilled chiropractors use a digital activator tool that makes adjustments in a consistent, gentle manner.
These adjustments can take pressure off of your joints and nerves, which in turn can relieve much of your sciatic pain. In addition, by returning your joints to their proper position, these adjustments can give your sciatic nerve the chance to return to its optimal performance, which can also aid your recovery.
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Believe it or not, sore or tense muscles can also place pressure on your sciatic nerve and contribute to the pain stemming from your sciatica condition. When the thousands of rope-like fibers within your muscles contract and tighten, they can form knots (also known as “trigger points”), which in turn can put pressure on the surrounding area, including nearby nerves.
By performing trigger point therapy (carefully applying heavy pressure onto the muscle knots) and chiropractic massage therapy (which is designed to promote natural healing through relaxation of the tight muscles), a chiropractor can once again reduce the pressure being placed on your nerves.
Customized Exercise Plans
Apart from offering short-term relief, chiropractors also want to set you up for a healthy, pro-wellness lifestyle. To that end, your chiropractic specialist may provide you with a personalized regimen of stretches and other exercises to provide continued relief from sciatica, as well as safeguard you against future injuries so you can maintain your quality of life.
Your chiropractor might recommend specific yoga poses, demonstrate proper posture that will minimize pressure on your sciatic nerve and back, and even offer recommendations for sleeping in a way that doesn’t exacerbate your sciatica.
Some chiropractors can also offer nutritional advice and other wellness tips to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and promote your overall health. This can indirectly help your condition by making sure your body is at its best as it heals itself and fights against your consistent pain.
Additional All-Natural Healing Methods for Sciatica
You may also be interested in other at-home remedies to keep your sciatica at bay, especially if you’re in between chiropractic adjustment appointments. Low back pain in general and sciatic pain in particular may be aided by cold or heat therapy.
If the shooting pain is causing intolerable pain, you might want to start by applying a cold pack, which can reduce your swelling and ease your pain. Once the pain has subsided, you can use a heat pack or a warm bath to relax your muscles and increase your circulation, both of which are helpful for pain relief and overall healing.
If your pain is chronic, you might want to skip the cold therapy and rely solely on heat therapy to keep your pain from worsening.
Contact Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center to Schedule an Appointment Today
Are you looking for holistic treatment from a qualified care provider who can address all of your pain-based needs? Contact Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center today to schedule an appointment. We’re happy to use our comprehensive approach to give you the personalized care you deserve as we aim to reduce your pain and set you on the path to lifelong wellness.