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Sciatica Treatment

Dr. Bradley Eyford DC and Dr. Dena Marie Terranova DC

Sciatica Pain Specialist

Sciatica is pain triggered by a pinched sciatic nerve. The pain radiates along the sciatic nerve, which branches lower back through the hips, buttocks, and each leg. The most common reason is lumbar disc herniation, which pressurizes the sciatic nerve and results in sciatic neuralgia.

According to Harvard Health, “As many as 40% of people will get it during their life, and it becomes more frequent as you age.” It’s mainly people suffering from acute or chronic back pain who are more susceptible to the condition. The obese, smokers, and whoever smokes and leads a sedentary lifestyle are also at a higher risk.

The pain’s prominent feature is that it starts from the lower back and radiates to the buttocks, posterior thighs, legs, and feet. The constant irritation of the nerve can cause sciatic neuritis and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

If severe, inflammation leads to permanent sciatic nerve damage and a long-term sequel. While sciatica usually affects one nerve or side, bilateral sciatica is a condition where both sciatica nerves are affected.

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Symptoms Of Sciatica

Sciatic pain starts in the lumbar spine and radiates down towards the other pain areas like the back, buttocks, hips, and lower extremities. Pain is the main symptom of sciatic neuralgia.

However, there are also other symptoms like:

  • Numbness, tingling, and electric-shock-like sensations
  • Feeling of burning
  • Pain aggravating with coughing, sneezing, and sitting
  • A weakness of the lower limb

Sciatica means a pinched nerve. It can occur because of a herniated disc or bone spurs or growing old problems that pressure it. Other causes of sciatic nerve compression are:

  • A blood clot (hematoma) following a trauma
  • Neuropathy
  • Obesity
  • Tumor
  • Poor posture
  • Some occupations like driving, carrying heavy loads, etc.

Sciatica Treatment

Start sciatica treatment as soon as symptoms appear. The therapy aims to resolve the complaints and prevent further sciatic nerve damage. While chiropractic care is the safest and most effective treatment, other options include: 

At-home care

  • Pain management starts with good self-care, rest, and an appropriate posture.
  • Applying hot and cold packs over the affected area soothes the inflammation and helps with pain. 
  • Painkillers for temporary sciatic neuralgia pain relief 
  • Gentle physical exercise under your chiropractor’s supervision and stretching exercises like Piriformis Stretch and Hamstring stretch are encouraged.

Medical care

It includes the following:

  • Painkillers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, steroids, muscle relaxants, and nerve pain management medicine
  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Physical therapy

Surgical treatment

Surgery is inevitable if a prominent mass, such as a herniated disc, compresses the sciatic nerve. The surgical options include:

  • Laminectomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Microdiscectomy

Chiropractic Treatment For Sciatica

It is a non-medical, non-surgical approach for healing irritated and inflamed nerves. The leading cause of sciatica is the external pressure on the nerve. Chiropractic adjustment releases this pressure, ultimately improving the symptoms.

It not only relieves pain but also prevents long-term complications. Usually, the best chiropractors in Tacoma work by applying manual traction forces, gentle massage, acupuncture, or stretching of the affected area to restore the lumbar spine to its position.

Tacoma Chiropractic Health Connection clinic is a top chiropractic clinic that provides effective and safe treatment for sciatica. We use our experience and knowledge to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.

Long Term Problems Due To Untreated Sciatica

According to the mayo clinic, it is essential to manage sciatic nerve compression symptoms as soon as possible to prevent permanent nerve damage.

The complications of sciatica include:

  • Foot drop
  • Muscle atrophy (weakness) in the affected leg
  • Loss of sensation in the affected leg
  • Difficulty walking
  • Chronic pain
  • Urine or stool leakage

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Frequently Asked Questions About Sciatica

Are chiropractors good for Sciatica?

In Tacoma, a chiropractic adjustment is a good option for sciatica treatment. Chiropractors help treat the pain of sciatica and prevent further complications that can arise because of a pinched nerve. They restore the lower back to its normal position with spinal manipulation and joint mobilization, and thus, reduces the pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Does medical insurance cover Sciatica treatment?

The policies of different insurance companies vary for sciatica treatment. Medicare covers various aspects of sciatica treatment, including medical, surgical, and chiropractic treatment.

Can sciatica go away permanently?

Sciatica pain may either decrease and go away entirely or remain and increase with time, despite the treatment. The average duration for sciatica to resolve is four to six weeks with or without treatment.

What gets rid of sciatica?

Sciatica resolves with the help of good self-care and the right treatment. These tips can help get rid of sciatica quickly

  • Resting in an appropriate position that does not pressurize the sciatic nerve further, a pressure relief cushion can help
  • Gentle exercising
  • Applying heat packs
  • Gentle massage
  • Pain killers
  • Physiotherapy for sciatica
  • Chiropractic care

Can you recover from sciatica nerve damage?

If you wonder how I get my sciatica nerve to stop hurting, the recovery from sciatica depends on the extent of injury to the nerve. The harder it is pinched, the more likely it is that the damage will be severe. Most of the time, the recovery from sciatic nerve damage is excellent; even without treatment, still, it is better to seek immediate medical help like chiropractic care for prompt release of pressure on the nerve.

Does walking help sciatica nerve pain?

Walking is an effective and simple therapy for sciatica in Tacoma. With regular walking, pain-relieving endorphins are released in the body that suppresses inflammation and hence, the pain. But, walking with a poor posture can have negative consequences.

What is the best painkiller for sciatica?

Some analgesics that provide prompt pain relief from sciatic neuralgia include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

Is sitting bad for sciatica?

Sitting increases pressure on the sciatic nerve and exaggerates the pain.

Does drinking water help sciatica?

Drinking a lot of water helps alleviate the pain of sciatica. There are cushion-like structures (vertebral disc) between vertebras that protect nerves and vertebra from impact. In a dehydrated state, the disc becomes harder and irritates the back.

How should I lay with sciatica?

Lying down with the elevation of knees releases pressure on the lumbar disc and alleviates the symptoms. Ideally, while lying flat on the back, keep heels and buttocks on the bed and flex your knees. The knees should face the ceiling. For support, keep a pillow between knees and mattress.

What should you not do with sciatica?

Certain factors trigger sciatica pain and make the condition worse. These are:

  • Sitting with flat, rounded, or any other lousy posture
  • Hamstring pain may feel good with stretching, initially, but actually, it worsens the nerve irritation. Similarly, stretching back for pain relief is not recommended.
  • Exercises that pressurize the lower back such as crunches and twists