Sciatica is a term thrown around quite a bit in the world of spinal health, and our team here at Whiplash Pain Center in Charleston and Summerville meets a lot of people suffering from it. We know folks are frequently looking for services to relieve their symptoms without forcing them to rely on medications, so we're happy to offer chiropractic care that's holistic, safe, and drug-free.
Interestingly, sciatica, not a specific condition, but rather a syndrome caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body (you have two of them exiting your spinal cord in the lower back area). This can happen for several reasons:
If an intervertebral disc bulges out of place or herniates (tears and leaks its inner gel-like substance out into the surrounding area), this can compress the sciatic nerve.
The nerve can also become compressed if the joint space around the nerve becomes decreased in some way—often due to arthritis, bony spurs, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis.
Certain muscles, including a deep hip external rotator called the piriformis, may also become short or tense leading to sciatic nerve compression somewhere along its path out of the spine and into the pelvis, hip, and leg where it begins to branch off.
Sciatica typically occurs only on one side of the body, and the main symptoms will be nerve pain in the buttocks or leg (searing, sharp, shooting, radiating, hot, piercing, throbbing, etc.), numbness and tingling in the leg, and potentially weakness of certain leg muscles. These symptoms are often worse after prolonged bouts of standing or sitting.
The main goals of chiropractic care for sciatica are to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve, facilitate nerve tissue healing, and identify and address any other factors contributing to the syndrome. Our chiropractor in Charleston and Summerville offers several techniques to achieve these goals, including but not limited to:
Chiropractic adjustments and spinal decompression - reduce pressure on the nerves by maximizing normal joint alignment and joint space
Massage therapy - increase the flow of healing blood and lymphatic fluid, relax spasming muscles, and breakthrough tissue adhesions
Corrective exercises - increase flexibility and length-tension balance of muscles, especially in the hip and leg (e.g., hip flexors, hamstrings)
When provided in conjunction with customized lifestyle and nutritional counseling, these services can help people avoid prolonged pain and even surgery.
If you have sciatic nerve pain and are looking for help, contact our Charleston and Summerville chiropractor, Dr. Alykhan Shariff, at Whiplash Pain Center by calling (843) 350-5022.