Pain Radiating Down Both Legs - Is This Sciatica?

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You might hear someone saying about Sciatica as one of the reasons why they are experiencing pain and feeling uncomfortable. If you feel it yourself, and you have more questions about it, continue reading this article to find answers. 

Though Sciatica is a common condition, it can be difficult to know exactly what it causes. Dr. Peter Martinez of Live Aligned Family Chiropractic breaks down information about Sciatica and how this condition can be treated and prevented. 

What is sciatica?

If a person has Sciatica, it means there is a form of irritation happening to the sciatic nerve. It’s the largest nerve found in the body which can be found from the lower back area and runs down to the buttocks, hips, legs, and feet. People who suffer from this condition sometimes feel discomfort and pain radiating down both legs even if the main cause of pain started in the pelvis or the lower back area. 

Five common causes of sciatica:

Sciatica can occur in several but different ways, below are considered the most common causes of Sciatica.

  • Acute injuries like falls and slips.
  • Awkward movement, where the spine becomes vulnerable at one moment. It comes at a sudden time like a strong sneeze or missed step. 
  • Repetitive tear and wear like raking leaves or shoveling.
  • The pressure put on the nerve from the tight muscles including piriformis muscle located in the buttocks area and near the hip joint.
  • The pressure put on the nerve from the disc bulge found in the lower lumbar spine.

How to prevent sciatica?

The best way to prevent sciatica is to make sure that your body is moving correctly and it can be done in several ways. Below are some of the tips and recommendations for patients to help them prevent having sciatica or lower back pain. 

  • Build or maintain your body’s core stability. Doing regular exercises or training to promote your body’s core stability can help you avoid having back pain. Chiropractors encourage their patients to stick with those exercises with long-term benefits. You don’t need to ask your chiropractor before doing your exercise routine, it’s still advisable especially if you experience back pain before. But if you want to consult first with your chiropractic doctor, make sure to provide your medical history so you will be given suitable health goals that work best for you.
  • Stretching. It helps the patient to maintain flexibility in the lower back area, legs, and pelvis which relieves pressure that forms in the body. To prevent Sciatica from getting worse, you must stretch the piriformis or the muscles found at the buttocks and top of hip joints on both sides. If it’s challenging for you to stretch your muscles, you can consider using a foam roller as support.
  • Chiropractic Maintenance. Going to your chiropractic doctor regularly every year can help avoid any musculoskeletal problems. Consider this like going for check-ups to ensure that everything is moving and working the way It should.

Chiropractic Care for Sciatica

Chiropractic treatment is an excellent solution for sciatica because it directly addresses the main cause of the issue, and it can both alleviate the symptoms and treat the cause. As a matter of fact, chiropractic care that involves manipulation is advisable by the ACP or American College of Physicians as a primary line of defense against pain and discomfort before considering other pain relievers, narcotics, injections, muscle relaxants, and surgery. 

How Chiropractic Treatments Help Sciatica?

Chiropractic treatment has shown proof of how effective it is in treating sciatica by letting the body heal and recover itself. The good thing about it is that it’s non-invasive and doesn’t need you to acquire medications, making it the main choice for patients suffering from this condition. There are many treatments or techniques a chiropractor may recommend or use. It can be used alone or associating with other techniques or therapies.

Adjustments. Spinal adjustments or manipulation is the center of chiropractic care. It helps to realign the spine, freeing mobility restrictions, and helps to take the body back to its right alignment so it can function well and effectively. It can help the patient also in lessening the pain that is joined with other health conditions including nerve inflammation, especially those associated with sciatica.

Ultrasound. A moderate heat that is made by sound waves at a certain frequency beyond a human’s hearing ability provides deeper tissue penetration. It is a kind of therapy that can stimulate the circulation of the body’s system and aids in decreasing stiffness issues, muscle spasms, pain, cramping, and swelling. 

Ice or Cold Therapy. This type of therapy helps to control and lessen the pain from sciatica conditions, as well as decrease inflammation. Chiropractors recommended hot and cold therapy to relieve pain and its anti-inflammatory. If you are experiencing sciatica and don’t want to become dependent on medication, this chiropractic treatment approach is recommended for you. 

Acupuncture. It’s effective in alleviating the back pain and discomfort the patient is experiencing. It is semi-invasive involving needle placement into the skin. This treatment works well by helping the body in releasing endorphins and maximizing the circulation surrounding the needles. The sessions needed for acupuncture usually last 20 to 50 minutes and can be utilized in connection with other treatment choices to reduce recovery time and decrease the person’s discomfort and pain.

Chiropractic Exercises and Training. A chiropractic doctor will provide you with the proper exercises to help you recover from sciatica and improve the spine by strengthening and repairing it. After proper diagnosis, the chiropractor may give various exercises routine in a controlled and progressive manner for pain relief. Chiropractic exercises or training may give advantages for several reasons which include:

  • Muscle improvement to eliminate pressure on the spinal discs.
  • Relax muscle to improve movement.
  • Maximize endorphins to activate the natural pain reliever in the body and boost joyful feelings.

If you have weak muscles and are overweight, a diet, cardio, or strengthening exercises with a chiropractor’s recommendation may help you. Sticking to the right nutrient diet at an advisable calorie count for your daily activities level can help you get the right amount of body nutrients while in the healing and recovery process. It can also help you reduce weight and lessen the amount of pressure put on the lower back area. Cardio and strengthening exercises can help rebuild the core muscles so that your back is correctly supported by the muscles.

Diet and Healthy habits. Workplace practices, the strain on the back, and poor postural habits can sometimes provide back pain and can affect the sciatic nerve. A chiropractic doctor can help improve your healthy habits and diets that help you avoid sciatica from occurring. As much as possible, try to listen to the lifestyle recommendations from your chiropractor because it can help you prevent unnecessary pain and future injuries.

How Long Does Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica Take?

The time duration of chiropractic treatment varies and usually, it’s based on the main cause of your sciatica condition. It’s vital to schedule chiropractic treatment according to the individual's set of circumstances and if the pain radiating down both legs worsens. 

Usually, you need to visit and set an appointment with your chiropractor around 3 times a week, and then lessen it off as you feel better and free from the pain. Additionally, a regular or maintenance visit is still important to ensure that your body will maintain its new alignment so the pain and discomfort don’t bother you anymore.

In a study based on the 2010 Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, patients with sciatica visited their chiropractors three times a week for four weeks straight session. It continues with weekly regular visits from the beginning time onwards, and then tape it off into the ultimate ending treatment once the signs were fully eliminated. Those who responded well to chiropractic care, get a lot of benefits and it’s shown from the study made.

It is recommended to discuss your improvement with a chiropractor throughout the entire treatment, and base your chiropractic schedule upon your discussion.

When Treatment Ends

Once the main cause of pain from the sciatica nerve has been properly managed through chiropractic treatment, you have the option to end the treatment or continue with maintenance visits that might happen weekly, monthly, or as your chiropractic doctor will recommend.

Throughout the entire treatment process, you will learn that exercises and stretches can definitely help you prevent future injuries. It’s essential to continue doing the recommended exercises as advised to minimize the chance of pain from the sciatic nerve to keep coming back.

Conclusion

In any would ask if a chiropractor can help with sciatica, yes, working with a chiropractic doctor for your sciatica can benefit you and helps with pain relief. The primary step is to talk with your chiropractor and ask if how he can help you with your sciatica issue. Discuss the necessary treatment plan to help you remove the sciatica pain and discomfort altogether. 

Live Aligned Family Chiropractic, one of the best chiropractic clinics in Golden Colorado understands that sciatic pain can often be intolerable and restricting you from doing your daily activities. That is why they are here to help you find the correct treatment to manage your sciatic pain. They can provide you the right diagnosis, along with the chiropractic care suitable for you. Their chiropractors are trained and skilled to help you relieve pain from your sciatic issue. They can offer excellent ways and practices to avoid the negative impact of the sciatic nerves in the future. 

If you believe that you are experiencing sciatic pain radiating down both legs, contact Live Aligned Family Chiropractic for expert chiropractic treatment today. 

References:

  1. https://www.healthpages.org/health-a-z/laser-treatment-for-neuropathy-is-it-effective/#:~:text=The%20most%20popular%20form%20of,result%20of%20increased%20glucose%20levels.
  2. https://drness.com/spinal-decompression-neuropathy-doctor/
  3. https://milehighspine.com/how-can-chiropractic-care-treat-neuropathy/
  4. https://virginiafamilychiropractic.com/services/peripheral-neuropathy/#:~:text=Chiropractic%20care%20treats%20peripheral%20neuropathy,slowly%20decline%20with%20chiropractic%20care
  5. https://www.mylakeworthchiropractor.com/conditions/sciatica

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DISCLAIMER: This site does not constitute a doctor patient relationship, and is not to be confused with medical advice. All injuries are unique, and the doctor must examine the patient before recommendations can be made.
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