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Sciatica Treatment

Mason Family Chiropractic provide Sciatica treatment in Ipswich through hands on Chiropractic care, advice, and exercise. Our Chiropractor is very experienced with these conditions, having treated people with them for over 10 years. It is always key with Sciatica to ascertain the root cause. Symptoms can present very similarly, but the cause can be different. Below we talk about what Sciatica is, what can cause Sciatica and how we treat it.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve, either as it comes out from the spine or further down its course. The sciatic nerve is formed from nerves coming out from the lower part of the spine. This then runs down the back of the leg and splits behind the knee into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the thickest nerve in the body. Symptoms of Sciatica include, but are not limited to: pain, tingling and numbness in the leg and/or foot; and weakness in the leg and/or foot. Sciatica usually only effects one side of the body, but can affect both sides, in some cases. Sciatica can be mimicked by some conditions including those affecting the joints of the lower back and pelvis, as well as muscular complaints. Therefore, it is essential to be assessed and diagnosed correctly so that the best plan can be put in place. In severe cases you can get loss of bowel or bladder control or numbness around the genitals. This can be a medical emergency and needs medical investigation as soon as possible.

What causes Sciatica?

Through our thorough examination and history, we can ascertain what causes your Sciatica. The two most common causes of Sciatica are nerve root irritation at the spine and piriformis syndrome.

Spinal nerve root irritation

A model of a vertebra from the spine demonstrating the 'jelly' squeezing out from the disc.
A section from the spine showing a 'slipped disc'

Spinal nerve root irritation is, as it says, irritation of the nerve as it comes out from the spine. This can be caused itself by a few different things. Damage to the spinal disc is the most common reason. This can be in the form of a disc prolapse (slipped disc). This is where the ‘jelly’ in the middle of the disc squeezes out. This can then put pressure on the nerve and cause the Sciatica. Where this pressure on the nerve is then dictates what treatment is best going forwards. In severe cases surgery may be required, but most cases do not.

Piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is where there is irritation of the Sciatic nerve from the piriformis muscle in the buttock. The sciatic nerve passes underneath and sometimes through the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle can become tight or can even spasm, causing this irritation. A short piriformis also makes this more likely to happen, so hip mobility can be very important.

How can you treat Sciatica?

Treatment of the Sciatica symptoms is about taking the pressure or irritation away from the nerve. Therefore, it is so important to know where that pressure or irritation is occurring. Chiropractors have many techniques that can help to remove the pressure or irritation from the nerve. Some of these are very light, as some people with Sciatica are in such severe pain, their movement is limited, and only light treatment will be appropriate. Other methods can be more hands on involving deep tissue massage techniques, specific chiropractic adjustments or even acupuncture. The key thing is that we identify the location of the irritation, as this guides our treatment. Providing advice is also essential. The right information for one person is not necessarily the right advice for another, again emphasising the importance of a correct diagnosis. Sciatica can be treated through accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment and advice. Rehabilitation is also essential in a full recovery to allow the injury to heal to its fullest.

If you have Sciatica, and would like it assessed, please feel free to see our availability for appointments here. If you are not sure if Chiropractic can help you, please feel free to book a complimentary chat where we can discuss your case over the phone by clicking here.

If you would like to read more about Sciatica or read some reviews, please click here.

Yours in health,

Mykel Mason DC LRCC MChiro

Ipswich Chiropractor

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