Your Lower Back Pain Could Be Sciatica - Here's How A Chiropractor Can Help

If you have pain in your lower back that runs down your leg, you might have sciatica. Your sciatic nerve runs from your back all the way to your foot. It is a large, broad nerve that can cause various sensations of discomfort when it is compressed, inflamed or irritated. Here is a quick overview of this painful condition and how a chiropractor can help.

Symptoms You May Experience

When your sciatic nerve is irritated, you might feel pain in your lower back, buttocks, back of your thigh, calf, or foot. The pain may be on one side of your body only, or both sides could be affected. The pain might be constant, but it might get worse after you've been sitting for a long period, or after you twist your back. You could feel a dull ache, tingling, or sharp pains.

What Causes Your Pain

There are different causes of sciatica. You may have a problem with your spine, which causes your nerve to become compressed. The problem could also originate in your lower back muscle. If the muscle is strained and inflamed, it could press against the nerve. Muscle spasms can also affect the nerve and create a painful sensation.

Chiropractic Treatments That Can Help

A chiropractor offers various treatments for sciatica. If your muscles are the problem, ultrasound therapy might be recommended. This therapy sends sound waves through your skin deep into your muscles to help relax them. Hot and cold therapy helps too. Ice packs reduce swelling so there is less pressure on your sciatic nerve. Heat can relax muscles and speed healing of muscle tissue. If the problem originates in your spine, your chiropractor can perform a spinal manipulation to bring your spine back into alignment. These treatments might take the form of gentle pressure on your lower back or quick thrusts to your spine.

Even though sciatica is painful, chiropractic treatments shouldn't be. If your pain is severe or if the treatments don't seem to help, your chiropractor may recommend you have diagnostic imaging tests to see if you have a herniated disc or some other spinal damage that needs surgery to repair.

When you see a chiropractor for sciatica treatment, you'll probably need to have a series of treatments to get results. It may take a few weeks for the inflammation and irritation of your nerve to heal. If you've had sciatica once, there's a chance you'll develop it again if it was caused by poor posture or heavy lifting. Your chiropractor can teach you the right way to sit and sleep to keep pressure off your nerve to reduce the risk of another flareup.