Sciatica happens when the sciatic nerve sustains serious damage. Because the sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the body, extending from the spine down to the heel, this damage can result in pain that can cover the entire lower half of the body. The reason that the sciatic nerve is damaged can vary. Disc compression, spinal stenosis, significant weight gain, and spondylolisthesis are all common causes of sciatica.
The most obvious symptom of sciatica is shooting pain down the leg. Sciatica is most common in one leg, but in rare cases, it may happen in both legs simultaneously. This pain can occur anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve. This includes the base of the spine (lower back area), the buttocks, the thigh area, the calf, and the heel. In some cases, the pain starts at the base of the spine and shoots all the way down to the heel. However, the pain may stop just below the knee. Sciatica pain may range from a mild feeling of soreness in some patients to severe pain. Sometimes, sciatica patients also experience leg numbness and occasional tingling sensations in the feet.
Chiropractic care can be a highly effective solution for sciatica. One of the reasons that chiropractic care is so effective in sciatica treatment is that the chiropractor will seek to uncover the true origin of the problem before attempting treatment. By identifying exactly why sciatica occurred, the chiropractor can correct the problem at its place of origin. Typically, sciatica has its origin in the spine, so hands-on chiropractic alignment is often a very effective solution. This alignment process moves both the spine and the sciatic nerve into the ideal position. Other healing modalities may also be used for additional pain relief. Some of the physical therapy modalities that the chiropractor uses in sciatica treatment include ultrasound therapy, cold packs, heat packs, muscle stimulation, traction and myofascial release. Non-surgical spinal decompression can also be very effective for sciatica patients, particularly in the more severe cases.
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