If you have suffered sharp stabbing pain in the buttock, extending into the hamstring at the back of the thigh and even down into the calf muscle – often accompanied by feelings of weakness, tingling and numbness, you will already be aware of just how miserable and debilitating sciatica can be.
Bathurst Chiropractor, Ben Purcell, explains that the condition we call Sciatica is (most commonly) caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve or by pressure on it, either at its root or somewhere along its course.
Because the sciatic nerve branches out from more than one spinal level, symptoms vary from one person to another. This is why it is so important to find the exact cause of the symptoms and why the approach to treatment may be different for each person affected.
Sciatica has a habit of recurring. Often, those who say they have a ‘bad back’ actually mean they suffer from sciatica. Many people have concerns about the condition getting worse over time, perhaps affecting their ability to carry on with the physical demands of their job, looking after a young family, or spoiling their enjoyment of sport and leisure activities.
This need not be the case! Many of the common causes of sciatic pain respond well to conservative Chiropractic care – so call Bathurst Chiropractic today and arrange an initial assessment appointment on (02) 6331 1004.
Who Gets Sciatic Pain?
The answer is, just about anybody! It is common in both office workers who sit for most of the day as well as for those who have physically demanding jobs. It can also be common during pregnancy. Sneezing or coughing and lifting or bending can also worsen your symptoms.
Although sciatica can be very painful and even debilitating when it strikes, most of the pain arises from a combination of inflammation and pressure on the nerve root. Both of these issues must be addressed in order to relieve the pain and symptoms.
The main causes of Sciatica are a herniated disc or dysfunction in the spine (a subluxation). Degenerative joint disease processes (such as arthritis) or an injury may also cause it.
The main objectives of Chiropractic treatment for any condition are to reduce pain and tension, restore movement and function, and strengthen muscles.
Treatment may include:
- Using Chiropractic Adjustments: These safe and effective adjustments are very specific and by correcting any dysfunction in the spinal joints.
- Correcting Posture: Postural defects may contribute to sciatic pain, in addition to the adjustments (mentioned above), your Bathurst Chiropractor will give advice on rehabilitation exercises and stretches specific to your needs that you can do at home.
- Releasing muscle tension: Irritation of the sciatic nerve can cause tight muscles in the buttock, back of the thigh and the calf. Muscles go into ‘guarding’ mode to protect the nerves. Releasing pressure on the nerve by correcting the position of the affected joints will help the muscles to relax and pain will be relieved.
- Relieving pain: Chiropractors do not prescribe painkillers or anti-inflammatory medicines. Treatment to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve (as described above) can relieve pain and decrease the symptoms of referred pain in the buttocks and thighs.
- Improving ergonomics: Your Bathurst Chiropractor can advise on ergonomics in the home and at work, providing advice and information on standing, sitting, lifting and more in order to help with rehabilitation and lessen the likelihood of a re-occurrence of sciatic pain.
Call our Bathurst practice today on (02) 6331 1004 and find out how our comprehensive, neurological approach to Chiropractic care could benefit you.