Sciatic Pain: How Chiropractic Care Can Help

How does a chiropractor treat sciatica?

Sciatic pain can be terribly debilitating! I’ve been treating it for over 23 years and have definitely seen a grown man (and woman!) cry a time or two! The sciatic nerve comes from the nerve “roots” from the bottom two lower-back vertebra and the tailbone. The nerve can become compressed or irritated when the vertebra or tailbone goes out of alignment or stop moving correctly. The pain can be terrible! Chiropractic helps because we get to the root cause of the problem, the misalignment causing the irritation. In our office, we use state-of-the-art X-rays to find the misalignments causing the problem as well as any abnormal motion preventing them from healing. These X-rays allow us to find the exact cause of the nerve irritation and know exactly what it takes to correct it. It is possible to help sometimes without X-rays but the films help us pinpoint the problem and know when we have fully corrected it.

Should I see a medical doctor or a doctor of chiropractic for sciatica?

A doctor of chiropractic is the best first choice for sciatic pain. We are experts in the neuro-spinal system and can usually get to the cause of the problem and bring relief. Many studies confirm that people are more satisfied with their care for any type of low-back or sciatic pain when they see a doctor of chiropractic vs. a medical doctor. Chiropractors have literally millions of satisfied customers!

Can a chiropractor help with nerve pain?

The answer is that it depends on the type of nerve pain. Most nerve pain does in fact come from the spine, so, yes, chiropractic is an excellent choice for relief from most types of nerve pain. Every nerve in our body does in fact go through our spinal cord or lower brainstem inside the upper neck bones. If the spine is misaligned or not moving correctly it will certainly irritate the nervous system and can cause nerve pain. Chiropractic can be of great help!

Sciatic Pain Chiropractor in Redding CA
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One of the questions I get all the time is about sciatic pain, can chiropractic help sciatic pain? I just got a good call from a friend, who said that his friend has been suffering from terrible sciatic pain, that basically has him in a wheelchair most of the hours of his life. He can barely get up sometimes to stretch his low back, which seems to be helping. He was wondering, can you take x-rays? Do x-rays help it? What is the process for chiropractic? So sciatic pain can be just one of the most, just debilitating, painful conditions anyone can go through. The sciatic nerve comes out from the lower lumbar, the lower back vertebra, comes from multiple vertebra, and goes out, down underneath, behind the muscles of your glutes, and it goes down the back of your thigh. And the sciatic nerve can get entrapped by the vertebra being misaligned. So that’s, as you may know, we call a subluxation or the vertebrae misaligned. So when the vertebrae get misaligned it can entrap that sciatic nerve and pinch it and irritate that nerve, and cause all sorts of just horrible debilitating pain.

And so what we do for that is we do a very thorough analysis. Number one, we sit down and we talk about the person’s needs. How is this affecting you? When did it start? How long has it been there? Are there any traumas that you might have experienced that may have caused this initially, or is it just a sports injury. We try to get an idea of how long it may have been there, not just their symptoms, their feelings, but it could be that a fall they had off the trampoline when they were five years old started the process, and then it’s been getting worse and worse and worse, and building up to now. It also could be they’ve never had any trace of a problem, their spine was perfect until just yesterday, on the soccer field and they felt a pain in their glute or in their low back, and now all of a sudden it’s shooting down their leg. Either way, we need to do a proper through analysis. It starts with that consultation, figure out what’s happening.

Then we’re gonna look very closely at the posture. So I’m gonna stand and look, first with my naked eye. There can be a head tilter, a shoulder tilter, the low back kinked or shifted or twisted, or they might even have a short leg that causes the pelvis to be not perfectly level. If that’s happening, that already puts their spine at a disadvantage, and the sciatic nerve that comes out from there, at quite a disadvantage. So we need to really, really figure this out thoroughly. Then we get a digital PostureRay photograph that’s gonna digitize their posture and give me a quantity of any structural mis-alignments in their body. Then, almost certainly, we’re gonna take x-rays. We take specific structural x-rays to analyze every single vertebra to a fraction of a degree, and a fraction of a millimeter, from normal. Our chiropractic biophysics science we have established, not just us, but other basic sciences throughout the world, have figured out that there is an absolute normal structurally. Doesn’t matter the gender. Male, female, doesn’t matter, race doesn’t matter. Humans have a normal, highest energy, normal, optimal function alignment for their spine.

So we’re gonna measure not just their low back, but we’re gonna measure the mechanics of the neck, especially the upper neck vertebra, the upper cervical vertebrae, the atlas and axis. We’re gonna measure the thoracic spine and the lower back, and we’re gonna put it all together to figure out what are the stresses on their nervous system, particularly the sciatic nerve, that are caused by any particular misalignments in their spine. Then we’re gonna measure them extremely accurately, and then we’re gonna sit down with the patient, we’re gonna talk about what exactly the problem is, where the structural problem. If it’s not caused by a structural problem, then we can’t help them, but if it is, then we’re the right experts to do it. With our chiropractic biophysics system, we’re gonna lay out a program to correct the misalignment that’s entrapping those nerves.

So very frequently, we’re gonna make specific adjustments. So an adjustment, if you don’t know, is where we take by hand and we look at our x-rays, and we compare what we feel with our hand with the X-rays and with the posture photograph. We’re gonna physically put hands on the patient and actually adjust the vertebra back into better alignment. Now sometimes when we look at the x-rays we do motion studies. So if someone has had a car accident, we’re gonna do motion studies on the neck, or we may tip their head forward and tip their head backward, or we may tip it side-to-side with the mouth open, to look at how these move in the upper neck. It’s similar in the lower back, we may find that when they tip to the right their vertebrae move well, but when they tip to the left they’re really stuck, or of course it could be the opposite. They’re supposed to move in a very particular way and if they’re not, you’re not functioning right. And as you also may know, it doesn’t just influence your pain. Over 90% of the nerves have nothing whatsoever to do with pain, they have to do with communication from body to brain and brain to body, bringing life to every cell, tissue and organ.

So when we find a sciatic problem we’re not just usually looking at a sciatic problem, we’re often looking at reproductive challenges, or looking at hormonal challenges, we’re looking at leaky bladder when you cough or sneeze, even erectile dysfunction, digestive elimination problems, because those same nerves that go down the sciatic nerve, they control all those functions in the body. So we really are after their bodies functioning at peak function. And those still x-rays, the posture photograph and the motion x-rays can help us figure out exactly how well that’s all functioning. So once we’ve established how it’s functioning, then we know what it takes to correct them.

If they’re moving too much then we have a completely different problem, and it’s more of a rehabilitation. We may send to a physical therapist to get some stability or provide some strengthening exercises. If it’s a way too much motion, we’ll send to an orthopedic surgeon to establish, maybe they might even need a surgery to re-fuse that. Whatever it takes, we’re gonna figure it out and let them know what the best course of action. But most of the time they’re actually not moving enough, and then we introduce the right adjustments, the right care, the right strengthening, the right rehabilitation, the right rehabilitation to be able to reestablish the normal curves and alignment in their spine.

Other people have what’s called a spondylolisthesis. Sorry for the long word, spondylolisthesis. It just means that a vertebra has slipped or shifted pretty substantially. Most of those are really stuck that way, and when they are we need to do the right rehabilitation to shift those back into alignment. There’s an anterolisthesis, which means it’s gone forward and there’s a retrolisthesis, which means it’s gone back, the vertebra. That can create just a ton of strain on there, so we’ll apply the right… If it is a chiropractic case, we’ll apply the right traction, the right strengthening, the right rehabilitation, and the right adjustments to be able to get it back up to optimal and normal.

So with sciatic pain it can be a variety of causes, but it’s always debilitating, always a problem. Most of the time we can get that rehabilitated and strengthened and healed. If we can’t, we know the right people to do that. So at Chiropractic First here, we’re a very good first step if you’re having any type of back pain or any sciatic pain. And we love taking care of people with that, because we know it distracts people from doing the things that they’re made to do, their sports, their work, their family life. It can really, really detract from that, so we like to do whatever we can. We love taking care of people with sciatic pain, and we love, even more importantly, seeing them get healed. So if you have any questions about it don’t ever hesitate to give us a call, or comment below, and we’ll reach out to you and find out if we can help you. So thanks for listening. Have a great day.

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