Imagine a life in where you are actually able to go sit and watch your son compete at his sporting events. You can finally take your wife to that show she’s been dying to see; without constantly excusing yourself just so you can walk around and relieve your discomfort. Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy a meal with your family after a long day of work rather than having to lie in bed the entire evening?
Life without sciatica doesn’t have to remain a distant memory. The best way to start taking back control of your life is to become educated on your condition and learning what the best treatment option is.
What is Sciatica?
So, what in the world is sciatica anyways? Great question! The explanation can be a little dense, so bear with me.
Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It begins at the base of your spinal cord, extends through your buttocks, continues down through both legs and into your feet.
Sciatica can have over 20 different reasons for its onset but the most famous everybody talks about, is a herniated or prolapsed disc. It may surprise you to know it may be the most famous but fortunately it’s not the most common cause. The word “Sciatica” simply means “pain down the leg” within the sciatic nerve distribution.
This means anything that has the potential to press, compress or irritate the sciatic nerve has the ability to cause sciatica. It could be as a result of inflamed low back joints, pelvic imbalances, disc damage, muscle spasms, infections and even cancers! Luckily for us, the most common cause is joint and muscles imbalances accompanied with inflammation which responds favourably to conservative Chiropractic treatment.
The message here is clear ………….You’ve got to get the diagnosis right from the get go! No point treating the disc when spasm in the piriformis muscle (that lives in your buttock) is grabbing onto the sciatic nerve. Also there is no rule that says you can only have one condition at the one time causing sciatica. Our experience is, we find a number of reasons causing sciatica, and therefore each has to be identified and treated. They are usually linked but nevertheless each one requires attention to get the best results.
Symptoms and Treatments for Sciatica
If it feels like you’re sitting on a pile of coals while reading this, you just might have sciatica! In all seriousness though, sciatic pain is often described as a tingling, numbness or burning that can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, hips or legs. It’s important to note, sciatica is typically isolated to one side of the body but in some, it can be both sides or alternate between sides (just to keep your clinician on their toes)!
For some people, the symptoms of sciatica are infrequent and mildly irritating, while others experience debilitating pain.
The most common symptoms of sciatica are one, or a combination, of the following:
- Pain that can be constantly felt in one leg or side of the buttocks
- Pain worse while standing or sitting as opposed to walking or lying down
- Pain is lessened lying down with your knees bent
- Searing or sharp pain
- If it’s present, lower back pain not as severe as leg pain
- A feeling of weakness or numbness while moving the leg or foot
- A sensation of numbness, weakness or prickling felt down the leg
- Severe shooting pains felt in one leg making it difficult to stand
- Pain on straightening the affected leg or legs
- Pain and/or dysfunction of our private bits that most don’t want to talk about
Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications may reduce swelling and provide you with minor relief if your pain isn’t too severe. Having said that, with acute sciatic pain, these meds will have little to no effect. Another option would be epidural (spinal) steroid injections. In case you’re wondering, yes, they are as unpleasant as they sound. If you suffer from chronic sciatica, you may be prescribed a muscle relaxer to help control the muscle spasms. Some people are even given antidepressants to keep the pain signals from being able to reach the brain. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very healthy to me. In fact, none of these options are very healthy or sustainable long term.
Daily use of anti-inflammatory drugs has been linked to a number of health problems, namely gut bleeding and kidney damage. Epidural steroid injections have been known to cause side effects such as, anxiety, stomach ulcers and osteoporosis, just to name a few. Muscle relaxers are not only rough on your kidneys, but have also been found to be highly addictive. Antidepressant medications cause a plethora of side effects. Here’s one that should make you turn and run; loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems.
Aside from the terrible side effects, these drugs don’t address the underlying issues causing your pain. They are simply masking the symptoms.
Ok, so drugs are, shall we say, less than ideal. What about surgery?
While it should be your absolute last resort, surgery is an option. There are a few common procedures but let’s face it, removing pieces of your spine is bound to be accompanied with potential terrible side effects. Also, you’ll still have to take medications after your surgery. If removing the bony plate that protects your spinal cord (seriously, this is one of the procedures) and ingesting poisons that only trade symptoms for different symptoms is what you’re ok with, then you have plenty of options available to you. But you know better than that, right? Lucky for you, there is a great option that doesn’t require drugs or surgery.
A Drug and Surgery Free Solution for Sciatica
Drop the surgeon and get in contact with a recommended Chiropractor. By providing better alignment of the spinal column, chiropractic therapy can address the underlying causes of sciatic pain.
“According to a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics , over 60% of individuals suffering from sciatica, that received no kind of relief from other therapies, were able to experience an equal amount of pain relief from chiropractic therapy as individuals that went on to have surgery. The individuals that took part in this study were seen by a chiropractor 3 times per week, for 4 weeks. After this 4 week period, they continued on with weekly visits that gradually tapered off as pain levels decreased and, get this, these benefits were found to last up to a year!”
Chiropractic therapy works in conjunction with your body’s natural ability to heal itself to provide you with lasting relief from your sciatic pain. At our clinic, our Chiropractors focus not on offering temporary relief from your symptoms, or invasive procedures, but on actually correcting the underlying cause of your problem. The sciatic pain you are experiencing is likely being caused by a misalignment in your spine disrupting and stressing all nearby structures that include your discs. Our chiropractors know just how to adjust and correct misalignments safely and naturally without the use of surgery or drugs. There’s a reason chiropractic therapy is so highly sought after and it’s because it produces real results. While results will vary from one case to the next, many patients are able to experience relief after just a few visits and with ongoing care learn to manage and improve the function of their whole spine not just the lower end of it reducing the risk of a relapse significantly.
Our belief is, there is a difference between being treated and being cared for. We don’t consider you as a diagnosis or label you in any kind of way. Instead, we see you for what you really are. An individual. You can also rest assured in knowing we have a “No Help, No Charge” guarantee. What this is means is, if during your initial visit we come to the conclusion that we can’t help you, then we won’t charge you. There is literally no risk or obligation involved!
We know how important it is for you to regain control of your life. We also understand your desire to do so without the use of drugs or surgery. Our Chiropractors can, and will, address the underlying issues of your sciatica. We’re looking to create a better, healthier future for those in need and we would love nothing more than for you to join us on that journey. Take your first step today and come see us for a thorough assessment where you will be amazed at our attention to detail. We will get you back in the driver’s seat, right where you belong!
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