Sciatica is the name that describes a set of symptoms that occur when the sciatic nerve is irritated. Typically, the symptoms may include lower back pain radiating to the buttock, back of the thigh, calf, and sometimes into the foot. These symptoms can present as tingling and numbness as well as pain and are often be accompanied by weakness in the leg, particularly in the muscles of the foot.
It is extremely important to be seen by your Chiropractor as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause of your sciatica. After a thorough examination and assessment of your symptoms, a Chiropractor will be able to pinpoint the cause of the sciatic nerve irritation and ensure you receive the most suitable treatment.
A bulging or slipped disc that presses on the nerve.
Degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis (the breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae) causing nerve irritation.
Spondylolisthesis -a condition where a vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it.
Pregnancy - Hormones produced during pregnancy can cause ligaments to loosen up and stretch, which can potentially cause sciatic pain for some women.
Muscle spasm in the buttock (piriformis) - when the muscle becomes so taught that it pinches the nerves (this is usually very temporary and the sciatic symptoms will disappear when the muscles relax again.
Phase 1. Initial treatment is to open up and widen the narrowed space through which the nerves pass. This can be achieved using Chiropractic adjustments and manipulation, using a specialized Chiropractic couch at The House Clinics which enables the Chiropractor to apply gentle, painless, and controlled traction to the spine in three planes of movement: 1) flexion bending the spine forward 2) laterally, away from the painful side and 3) caudally, pulling the spine apart. Often, 4-6 treatments will see significant improvement.
Phase 2. Core strength and stability exercises to support the spine, as well as lifestyle and postural advice, are an important part of the treatment and to prevent a reoccurrence of sciatica. Your Chiropractor can demonstrate these exercises to you and give you a bespoke exercise program on video.
Phase 3. Massage therapy can be an effective way to ease muscle spasm around the irritated nerves, increasing blood supply and promoting natural healing and pain relief.
An acute episode of sciatica may take between 3-6 treatments to see long term and lasting benefits. This is in combination with patients following a recommended programme of exercise to improve strength and stability to strengthen the core and support the spine. Some patients may experience flare-ups from time to time in which case check-up appointments may be necessary to maintain progress.
Our patients report a huge improvement in their symptoms and frequency of flare-ups.
As a multidisciplinary practice, The House Clinics are able to combine the expertise of our Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, Podiatry and Chiropody practitioners to offer a unique and exceptional service to our clients. Please speak to your practitioner if you have any queries about other services we offer.
A wealth of information and useful news articles to help you.
If you've made the positive step of deciding to see a Chiropractor for treatment, you may be wondering what to expect in terms of the treatment and frequency of visits to get good results. Here's our full guide on how Chiropractic treatment plans work...