If you have sciatica, you know it’s no fun, with common symptoms including nerve pain, burning, numbness and radiating pain. However, because sciatica is a symptom of a problem rather than a disorder itself, New Jersey chiropractors are uniquely positioned to help you. Rather than trying to resolve only the sciatica, they dig deeper to also treat its cause.
Causes of sciatica
Sciatic nerve compression is what causes sciatica, but the real question to ask is: “What causes the nerve compression?” The answer is wide ranging, with causes including spinal disc misalignments, herniated or bulging discs, pregnancy, tumors, diabetes and even sitting on your wallet. Piriformis syndrome, which you may experience if your legs are different lengths or if you have hip arthritis, also causes sciatica.
New Jersey chiropractors review your medical history to determine why you have sciatica. This also includes physical and neurological exams. If chiropractors suspect that a disorder beyond their scope is causing your sciatica, they refer you to another specialist. Even then, the specialist and chiropractor can work together to co-manage and co-treat you.
The focus of your chiropractic treatment is to allow your body a chance to heal itself without surgery and drugs. In some cases, however, New Jersey chiropractors recommend medications such as ibuprofen to relieve your inflammation. Epidural steroid injections also help with inflammation as well as pain. In severe cases, surgery may be considered if other treatment methods are not effective.
The cause of your sciatica determines your exact treatment method. Common treatments include:
- Ice/cold therapies to decrease inflammation and pain.
- Ultrasounds to boost circulation and decrease spasms and pain.
- Electrical nerve stimulation to manage pain and muscle spasms.
- Spinal adjustments to align the spine and free up movement. This approach also helps with inflammation, spasms and pain, and does not cause pain. Chiropractors, due to their specialized training, are able to offer this method while other doctors do not.