Dr. Adam Church, DC, has been treating patients with sciatica in East Haven for almost fifteen years. Atlas Chiropractic provides the highest quality, most welcoming and caring treatment services for sciatica and other health ailments in Connecticut.
Massage Therapy Q & A
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve which starts in the lower back and extends down through each of the legs. This nerve is important for sending and receiving signals to and from the brain and the legs, and when it is inflamed patients experience sciatic nerve pain or sciatica. This condition is quite common and can be very debilitating in severe cases.
What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain?
There are a number of causes of sciatica, which include spinal misalignment, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, muscle spasms, or even pregnancy. Other factors that exacerbate pain include being overweight, diabetes, constipation, lack of exercise, a mattress which is too soft, and even situations like wearing high-heeled shoes or sitting on a wallet in a back pocket.
What are Sciatica Symptoms?
The symptoms of sciatica range in severity, but normally only affect one side of the body. They generally radiate from the lower back down the thigh and into the leg. They can even extend all the way into the feet. These symptoms can include:
Pain in the lower back, hip, or one side of the posterior
Burning sensations or tingling in the leg
Weakness and loss of mobility in one leg or foot
Pain that is worse when sitting or makes it hard to stand
Sometimes these symptoms are very minor and some people choose to “just live with it.” This is a mistake because sciatica can be progressive — it always has the potential to worsen over time.
How Does Chiropractic Treat Sciatica?
Chiropractic is one of the best and most effective treatments available for patients suffering from symptoms of sciatica. The first step is to accurately diagnose the condition. By thoroughly reviewing the patient’s medical history and conducting a complete examination including diagnostic tests like MRI and CT scans, the doctor will first rule out other possible causes of the symptoms the patient might be experiencing.
When it comes time to begin treatment, the individual plan may include cold therapy, ultrasound treatments, electrical stimulation of the nerves and spinal adjustments. Together, these approaches should restore feeling, remove pain and help restore a feeling of normalcy to patients.
For those suffering from sciatica in East Haven, CT, who would like more information, Dr. Church and the Atlas Chiropractic staff are glad to help.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
Back pain can be caused by a range of ailments and injury, by overuse resulting in soft tissue injuries, sprains, and strains, or bone fractures. It can be caused by herniated discs, by osteoarthritis in the spine, or by rare conditions like spondylitis, bacterial infections, and tumors.
Understanding the cause of lower back pain requires a thorough examination which may include CT, MRI, or other scans. Only when the cause of the ailment is clear can treatment begin.
What Symptoms Should Patients Not Ignore?
Any pain is a sign that something is wrong but some symptoms are certainly indicators of a more severe condition than others. Those who experience weakness in their extremities, whether it’s the legs, arms, or face, should see a doctor immediately. If the back pain radiates into the chest, the patient should immediately seek medical assistance.
Tenderness and pain in the rear lower leg could mean a potentially fatal blood clot. If back pain is causing respiratory troubles, the patient should seek medical assistance right away. All of these could be related to back problems or could indicate serious ailments like stroke or heart attack.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
Chiropractors specialize in injuries to the back, spine, and nervous system. They engage in highly effective non-invasive treatments of musculoskeletal and nervous disorders. By treating the areas where the pain originates (which may not be where the patient feels the pain), they alleviate the injury, allowing patients to improve strength and mobility, and restore their health and wellness.
Treatment by a chiropractor will usually involve spinal manipulation, but can also involve specialized physical therapy and exercise routines custom-tailored to the individual needs of the patient. By setting goals for recovery and preventative efforts, a chiropractor can not only restore the health of a patient but can help to avoid further illness and injury in the future.