Sciatica Relief: How Chiropractic Can Help Manage Your Pain

To understand how chiropractic can provide sciatica relief, one must first understand exactly what sciatica is and also what a chiropractor does.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a term commonly (arguably incorrectly) used to describe pain in the leg, but true sciatica actually means pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the leg deriving from a compression of the sciatic nerve. Nerves are like cables that carry electrical impulses between your brain and the rest of your body. These impulses help you feel sensations or move your muscles, some nerves do both of these jobs.

The sciatic nerve leaves your spine in your lower back and runs down the back of your leg. It helps you stand, walk, run, and feel sensations. Compression can be common at a few different places, either coming from the spine itself or by musculature as it proceeds down the body.

Sciatica is most commonly caused by compression of the sciatic nerve in one of two places (or both simultaneously): at the nerve root, or by the piriformis muscle.

At the nerve root, where the nerve exits the spinal canal, bulges in your discs can cause compression of the nerve which may be worsened by actions such as sitting or coughing. Degeneration of the spine may also be a contributor.

Shortly after exiting the nerve root, the nerve then pierces a muscle called the piriformis in 20% of the population or passes adjacent to it in 80%. This means that contraction of this muscle may easily lead to sciatica.

What is Chiropractic?

Sciatica Relief

The word “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek words “cheir” (hand) and praktos (done) and so is interpreted as “done by hand”. Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that aims to relieve pain in the joints and muscles of your body. Chiropractors may use manipulative techniques, along with soft tissue work, to eliminate or decrease pain whilst also improving your mobility.

How can chiro be used to manage Sciatica?

A chiropractor will take a thorough history of your sciatica as well as assess you through specific testing to determine where your sciatica could be coming from. Depending on the cause and if it is safe to do so, your Chiropractor may then use a range of techniques such as soft tissue work, manipulation, and rehabilitation for sciatica relief to manage your pain naturally and prevent it from coming back again. This may take a few sessions of regular care to get on top of depending on the severity of your condition.