Affected by Sciatica? Here’s How New Jersey Chiropractors Can Help

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.

Treatments
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.

Sciatica, Low Back Pain, Lumbar Spine Disc Herniations and Pinched Nerves!

We have been seeing a lot more sciatica in the practice lately.  I guess there could be many reasons for that.

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  • We have had some late season snow (the wet and heavy kind) and shoveling has been a hassle
  • It is the end of winter and patient’s have been sedentary for a few months and have been getting weak, or
  • People are just doing things they shouldn’t be doing.

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Everyone always ask me, “How did this happen to me?”  The answer is not that easy because there are so many reasons you can get Sciatica.  So I try to break it down:

Sicatica is caused when the sciatic nerve is being pinched.  The pinch could come from a lot of structures or reasons, but I will list the most common.

a) A herniated disc at L4, L5 or S1.  That means the jelly from inside the disc is coming out and putting pressure directly on the sciatic nerve.  The nerve gets compressed and causes sciatica.

b) Muscle spasm, most commonly at the Piriformis muscle.  What happens is that sometimes the sciatic nerve pierces right through the Piriformis muscle and when the muscle gets tight it squeezes the sciatic nerve in between it causing sciatic pain.

c) Arthritis!  That’s right, that good old Arthur-itis as my family calls it.  When the body develops arthritic spurs, these are little pieces of bone growth outside the normal bone.  These bone growths can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve at the levels of L4, L5 and S1 also.

d) Pregnancy is the lasty most common cause.  When the fetus starts to grow and the uterus expands it begins to move organs out f the way to make room.  Organs like the stomach and diaphragm move up (this causes the indigestion and acid reflux) and others move down, which can also push and compress the sciatic nerve causing sciatic pain.

Again, there so many other causes of Sciatica, but these are the most common I see at The Spine adn Health Center of Montvale.

Once we have diagnosed the exact cause of the sciatica we can then develop the correct treatment plan to rehabilitate.  The problem I see out there is that the cause of the sciatica is not properly diagnosed, it is then not treated properly and patients will either not see any improvment with their pain and discomfort or the relief will be short lived and the pain will come back over and over again.  At the Spine and Health Center of Montvale, we identify the exact cause and administer the proper treatment and that is why we ge tgood results.

I hope this answered a lot of questions about Sciatica and the causes.  I am always available for any questions you may have.  Just email me from the website if you’d like or call and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  If you are local, pop on in to one of the offices and say hi!