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Getting Sciatica Relief
Sciatic nerve pain, also called sciatica, is really not a type of back disorder or pain condition; rather, it is a symptom of other disorders. Many people misunderstand this—they believe sciatica nerve pain to be a condition of its own…probably because the pain of sciatica is so different from other back pain.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a specific type of pain—it is pain that travels down the lower back, through the buttock, and down a person’s leg. In other words, the pain is traveling through the person’s sciatic nerve. It is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve.
The pain of sciatica can vary in intensity and duration. It can be a constant dull ache, like a toothache, or it can be sharp, stabbing pains—or anything in-between.
Sciatic Nerve Pain Diagnosis
In order for a person to be treated for his sciatic nerve pain, he must first have a diagnosis as to the cause of his pain. Possible causes of sciatica include misaligned vertebrae, herniated or bulging disks, diabetes, constipation, and Piriformis syndrome. Even sitting on a back pocket wallet can cause sciatic nerve pain. A chiropractic doctor can do a thorough examination to determine what has caused a patient’s sciatica.
Chiropractic treatment is drug-free and surgery-free; therefore it is typically the preferred sciatica treatment. A chiropractor will tailor a treatment plan for a specific patient so that patient can experience sciatica relief. Here are some of the techniques he may use:
- Spinal manipulations, also called spinal adjustments, are commonly used by chiropractors for sciatica treatment. These manipulations can realign the spine, which will remove the pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve. This can provide a great deal of sciatica relief for the patient.
- Chiropractors also use ultrasound. This is a gentle heat that is created by sound waves. This heat penetrates into the body tissues to increase circulation and help to reduce muscle spasms, cramping, and pain.
- A TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a small box-like device that electronically stimulates the nerves. It acts to mask the pain from the nerves, fooling the nerves into ‘thinking’ that there is no pain. When the nerves ‘think’ that there is no pain, they do not send the pain signals to the brain.
- Ice therapy and heat therapy are also often used for sciatica relief. These sciatica treatments help to reduce inflammation and lessen pain.