Sciatica, also known as radiculopathy, is a term that describes pain radiating down the leg due to compression of the sciatic nerve. Our San Diego chiropractor, Dr. Michael Pritsker, treats this condition with spinal manipulation or spinal decompression at Chiropractic @ Happy Head. These two non-invasive treatments can be combined with other chiropractic care therapies to provide extensive sciatic nerve pain relief.
There are two sciatic nerves that branch out from the spinal cord in the lumbar spine and extend to the left and right side buttocks and legs. Pressure on the nerve causes a dull, sharp shooting, or burning pain that starts in the low back and radiates to the buttock, thigh, and leg. Other symptoms that commonly feature include numbness, tingling, weakness, or heaviness in the leg. Coughing, lying down, sitting, and bending forward may aggravate the symptoms. Both sides of the lower body are rarely affected.
A herniated disc from back injury or strain is the most common underlying cause of pressure on the nerve. Other causes include nerve irritation or inflammation from the degeneration of the lumbar spinal discs, joints, and bones. Obesity, pregnancy, frequently lifting heavy objects, and siting for prolonged periods of time increase the risk of disc herniation. Other underlying conditions linked to sciatica include:
Lumbar spinal stenosis
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
It is essential for our chiropractor to diagnosis the underlying cause of your symptoms before tailoring a treatment plan. Diagnostics include a physical examination and imaging tests. A nerve block test may be appropriate for some patients.
Non-surgical spinal decompression is an FDA-approved therapy that effectively corrects disc herniation and relieves sciatic nerve irritation. It provides an alternative option for patients at risk of disc surgery. The treatment is performed by applying distractive force to the lower spine. This increases disc space and creates a negative pressure inside the discs that pulls the leaked disc material back within the disc and away from the nerve.
Spinal manipulation or adjustment is another treatment option for sciatic nerve pain. Manual manipulation of the spine improves its alignment and alleviates pain by moving the disc, bones, or joints, away from the nerve. A properly aligned spine reduces inflammation and creates a healing environment.
Traditional massage therapy, Jade massage therapy, and assisted stretches are adjunct therapies that stimulate blood circulation, reduce inflammation and pain, relax the muscles, and increase range of motion.
Chiropractic care is an effective alternative way to manage the pain of the sciatic nerve, especially when medication and other traditional treatments fail to provide long-term relief. Call Chiropractic @ Happy Head at (619) 630-9153 to request an appointment today.