Sciatica is a common reason people seek chiropractic treatment. Impingement of the sciatic nerve results in the severe symptoms of sciatica, so chiropractic treatment attempts to eliminate the source of sciatica by decreasing the nerve compression. Chiropractic adjustments attempt to lessen nerve impingement by reestablishing correct skeletal biomechanics. Optimal joint motion and unimpeded nerve flow maximizes the body's healing capabilities and increases function, thus promoting health and decreasing symptoms.
The primary objective of chiropractic medicine is the reestablishment of correct skeletal motion and the optimization of nerve flow. Chiropractic is drug-free, surgery free, functional medicine that focuses on the elimination of the sources of any symptoms. The restoration of proper joint motion and removal of nerve impingement is accomplished through manual treatment.
Chiropractic doctors employ a treatment technique called the chiropractic adjustment or chiropractic manipulation to restore correct skeletal joint motion. The chiropractic adjustment is a manual treatment delivered by hand or with a small held-held instrument. The chiropractic adjustment is a focused thrust that attempts to restore proper skeletal motion and can be performed on any of the body's numerous joints.
The sciatic nerve begins in the gluteal region then travels down the leg. It originates from a network of nerves that branch off the spinal cord in the lower back. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve and its branches transmit motor and sensory signals throughout the leg.
Sciatica symptoms are caused by impingement of the sciatic nerve. The most common location of sciatic nerve compression is underneath the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region. Symptoms of sciatica include sharp shooting shock-like pain, tingling, numbness, fatigue, weakness and burning along the course of the nerve in the leg and foot. The pain is intensified by quick movements, squeezing, bending forward, coughing and straining to pass a stool.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
The pain and symptoms of sciatica are signals that an underlying source exists. Chiropractic adjustments eliminate the cause of sciatica by restoring correct skeletal function and removing the nerve impingement. Chiropractic adjustments for sciatica focus on the lower back, hips, sacroiliac joints and lower extremities to reestablish skeletal biomechanics. Sciatica symptoms should dissipate once the impingement is lessened.
- World Federation of Chiropractic: Definition of Chiropractic
- American Chiropractic Association: What is Chiropractic?
- SpineUniverse; Sciatic Nerve and Sciatica; Stewart G. Eidelson, MD
- SpineUniverse; Symptoms of Sciatica; Kamiah A. Walker
- SpineUniverse; Chiropractic Care for Sciatica; Arn Strasser, DC