This winter has been extremely exceptional with all the snow fall and the task of removing the white beast. No matter if you were shoveling, snow blowing or plowing the winter has taken its toll on almost everyone and now some of you may be left with pain. In the spirit of the season ending I thought it would be a good time to write this article on sciatica and chiropractic awareness.
Sciatica is a term that describes the symptoms of leg pain that often originates in the low back and radiates into the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica is not a diagnosis but is often thought of as one. It’s actually a symptom of an underlying condition such as spinal nerve compression by a disc, spinal stenosis, degeneration or misalignment of the spine.
Sciatic pain can vary from constantly there to infrequent and annoying. In some cases it can be incapacitating. Specific sciatica symptoms can be different in location and severity for each person. For example some people may experience symptoms in the low back, buttocks and thigh where as others may experience symptoms only in the leg. Sciatica is usually one sided for the most part but it can be in both legs. The specific sciatica symptoms of leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and possibly symptoms that radiate into the foot largely depend on where the nerve is compressed or pinched. For example a misalignment of the fifth lumbar vertebra can impinge the nerve that can cause weakness in extension of the big toe and potentially in the ankle as well as distribute radiating pain into the back of the thigh and calf.
The good news is that more and more research shows that chiropractic care is more effective than surgery in some cases. Spinal decompression surgery, also known as microdiscectomy, has proven to be effective medical management for many people with sciatica. However, researchers questioned whether surgery was necessary in all cases. A study published in Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010; 33(8): 576-584 revealed sixty percent of patients with sciatica who had failed other medical management benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention.
With proper spinal management patients can easily recover from low back pain with or without sciatica. Chiropractors are natural healthcare doctors who use gentle spinal adjustments as their primary modality of treatment to restore normality of the spine. If you are suffering from any form of spinal related pain such as neck, mid-back, low back and/or sciatica and have tried other forms of treatment with minimal or no results, chiropractic care may be the next step for you.
About Dr. Picard
Dr. Richard Picard is a chiropractor in Cranston, RI. He has been in private practice for over 25 years and has seen thousands of cases of low back pain with and without sciatica. His treatment style is unique as he uses instrument assisted manipulation with computer technology which is a very comfortable, safe and effective treatment method for spinal related problems in all age groups.