The question, "Does Moss Chiropractic Treat Sciatica?" is summed up in one word: "YES!"
"I had this horrible shooting, burning pain that would go down my leg and sometimes right in my butt and often cause my leg and foot to get numb and tingle. I went to my family doctor and he just gave me pain pills. My wife found Dr. Moss... I look back and it was the best thing I ever did, he was the only one that really listened and knew just what to do to. I am pain free and feel great now". ~Larry S. Inverness FL
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In order to properly discuss sciatica and how chiropractic can help, it is necessary to understand what it is, how it started, and how it developed to your condition today.
What Is Sciatica?
What is sciatica is a great question to be asking. Many patients just think it's associated with aging when that is not really the case at all. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, it is made up from nerves throughout your low back and your pelvis. Five nerves coming together to control and coordinate most of the functions in your legs.
So what is sciatica? Sciatica is an irritation, a lesion on the sciatic nerve. It can be causes by subluxations of the spinal vertebra, bulging or herniated discs, or just tight muscles in the buttocks. Unfortunately it is more likely a disc problem in most cases. When people have sciatica, they typically are having leg pain or paresthesia (abnormal sensation, including burning, 'crawling' sensations, numbness, etc). The pain may or may not start in the low back and progress all the way down the leg into the great toe. It may only hurt in certain areas of the leg. There may be no sensation issues, but the leg is going weak, or they find their leg goes out from under them sometimes.
How Is Sciatica Diagnosed?
Chiropractors diagnose sciatica all the time. Typically it is diagnosed simply by the pain and distribution of pain or numbness in the leg. Although it does not have to hurt in the lower back, it likely will. Certain positions will make it worse. A good orthopedic and neurological examination should be performed when sciatica is suspected. Finally, a set of x-rays should be taken of the involved area and possibly an MRI as well when a disc is suspected.
What Can Cause Sciatica?
Chiropractors get this question all the time. "What Caused My Sciatica?" Honestly, a lifetime of wear and tear on your spine, sprinkled with improper lifting habits, lack of exercise, and general overall weakness of supporting muscles.
Your spine, overtime and after likely multiple injuries, finally just got bad enough. Most people don't realize that what they did 5, 10, 30 years ago is what is now causing their sciatica and low back pain today. The first time your low back was injured was the trigger for a continuous downward spiral for the discs and joints involved. Every incident since then has only served to accelerate the decay. This is likely a subluxation. Subluxations are when two or more vertebra have lost their proper juxtaposition with one another, their normal range of motion, creating irritation of the joints and the nerves passing between. Simply put, subluxations are bad and they make nerves do bad things. They make the disc work overtime and create a weakness. Subluxations are the only real reason for sciatica. The disc injury that is most likely being blamed, is actually secondary to the original subluxation. So what's the answer to what is causing your sciatica? Your spine is not functioning optimally and is create dangerous loads on nerves that create the sciatic nerve. Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct the dangerous loads and irritations to the spine and nerves. Because of this and much more, Chiropractic is typically the best treatment for sciatica.
How Do Chiropractors Treat Sciatica?
Here is where we will finally describe what a chiropractor does to treat sciatica.
1.) Spinal Adjustments: utilized to restore normal motion and movement to a vertebral motor unit thus restoring normal ranges of motion and relieving pressure on the spinal nerves that can cause sciatica.
2.) Electronic Muscle Stimulation: Interferential EMS is used for
Preventing Disuse Muscle Atrophy
Increasing Local Blood Circulation
Relaxation of muscles
3.) Deep Laser Pain Therapy: Class IV laser utilized by doctors around the world to reduce inflammation and pain associated with sciatica, lower back pain, leg pain, as well as disc injuries. Trainors find laser improves and speeds healing of damaged tissue in athletes as well as non-athletes
4.) Spinal Decompression Therapy: Computerized axial traction, or spinal decompression traction has been used for decades to relieve pain and heal disc bulges and herniations in the lower back (causing sciatica, pain) and the neck (causing headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain, arm and hand pain). Very safe and highly effective, it is the gold standard in non surgical disc intervention treatment.
5.) Therapeutic Exercises and Stretches: Along the way patients will be given exercises and stretches, some of which may be for home use while others may only be accomplished within the office. Resolution of the condition and long term results depend upon how seriously a patient follows their care plan.
It will do no good if the disc is decompressed, and the vertebrae are all moving normally with no irritation to the nerves, if the patient isn't strong enough or flexible enough for their body to continue to heal and to remain this way! This is a great way to get sciatica, as well as other injuries over and over again and nobody wants that. If this is going on, I don't care how good your chiropractor is, you will develop a chronic issue in the injured joint that will continue to degrade and become arthritic, if you DO NOT stretch and strengthen the area. Stretches and exercises for sciatica can be very helpful but the doctor cannot do these for you so it's up to you.