Sciatica is the name that describes a set of symptoms that occur when the sciatic nerve is irritated. Symptoms include lower back pain radiating to the buttock, thigh, calf, and sometimes into the foot. As well as pain, sciatica can cause tingling and numbness, and people may experience weakness in their legs or feet as well
Here at The House Clinics, Bristol, our expert Chiropractors have successfully treated hundreds of people suffering from sciatica. It is crucial to be seen by your Chiropractor as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause of your sciatica. Chiropractors can determine the cause of sciatic nerve irritation after thoroughly examining and assessing your symptoms.
There are a number of common conditions that cause irritation of the sciatic nerves.
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) causes 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.
After an initial consultation and examination (referring to your medical history), your Chiropractor will be able to determine the underlying cause of your sciatica. Treatment normally includes a combination of hands-on treatment, posture and lifestyle advice, and an exercise programme to strengthen the core (the muscles supporting your spine).
Phase 1. Your chiropractor will provide initial treatment to open up and widen the narrowed space through which the nerves pass. This can be achieved using specialist chiropractic adjustments and gentle manipulation. Often, 4-6 treatments will see significant improvement.
Phase 2. Core stability exercises are important for the treatment and prevention of sciatica. Your chiropractor will demonstrate these exercises and give you an exercise program. You'll also be given posture and lifestyle advice.
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. Your chiropractor may recommend massage therapy as part of your treatment for sciatica.
An acute episode of sciatica may take between 4-6 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.
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