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Is Chiropractic Treatment Effective for Sciatica?

In order to know whether chiropractic treatment will be effective for sciatica, you must understand what the problem is and the physiological mechanisms that have led to this painful problem.

The pain a sciatica sufferer feels may be a mild tingling sensation or it could be so terribly painful that it’s almost debilitating. It all depends on the cause and severity of the problem. Some people may feel muscular weakness or a tingling sensation in the lower limbs that’s similar to the “pins and needles” sensation.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It spans from the lower back and runs across the buttocks and goes all the way down the legs. The sciatic nerve starts off with five spinal roots at the lower lumbar region. When any one of these roots gets injured, damaged, irritated, inflamed, pinched, etc. sciatica pain will follow.

There are many causes that range from poor posture to herniated discs and piriformis syndrome. The doctor will be the best person to give an accurate diagnosis of what exactly is causing the problem.

There are many methods of treating sciatica and the efficacy of each treatment will depend on the cause and severity of the condition. Some methods may work wonders for one patient but have no effect on another. So, you will need to try them out.

The most common methods of treatment are hot and cold treatment, pain relief medication, and stretching exercises to relieve the pain, non-surgical spinal decompression, massage, weight loss and even epidural steroid shots. One method usually recommended is chiropractic treatment.

So, what is chiropractic treatment?

Chiropractic treatment usually focuses on manipulative techniques where the glitches in the musculoskeletal system are fixed by massage. When chiropractic treatment is used for sciatica, the practitioner will focus his or her attention on making spinal adjustments that eases the pressure on the sciatic nerve.

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When the nerve or nerve root is not compressed, it will not hurt. The manipulations done by the chiropractor will put the nerve in an unobstructed and unblocked state. The relief the patient feels will be immense. Since chiropractic treatment focuses on the entire spine with extra focus given to the problem area, it will also be beneficial for preventing any recurrent episodes.

massage therapy and sciatic painUsually, when you first visit a chiropractor, they will ask you detailed questions about your condition and the degree of pain you feel. Some specialists may ask for an X-ray or MRI report to be certain of what is causing the pain. They’ll also be able to pick up on any misalignment in the spine or obstructions that are causing the sciatica pain.

Following that, the chiropractor may use ice packs or cold compresses to reduce the swelling and inflammation. They will then use typical chiropractic methods to correct the spinal alignment.

In some cases, after the chiropractic adjustment, the patient may be treated with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treatment. During this treatment, electrical pulses are sent along the patient’s nerves to reduce the pain and stop it. The electrical impulses are painless and are very effective for reducing stiffness, muscular spasms, etc.

Your chiropractor may also suggest ultrasounds to boost blood circulation. The blood circulation will help to reduce the pain and inflammation.

If you get chiropractic treatment in the early stages of sciatica, it can be very effective. This is a holistic method of treatment. So, you will need to stick to it for a while and even consider going for chiropractic sessions regularly to keep sciatica at bay.


Sciatica can be frustrating, however when the right treatment is applied early enough, this condition can be healed completely! If you’re currently suffering from pain caused by sciatica, check out this article to find out why you’ve been treating it wrong and what is an effective strategy to treating sciatica at home. Click here to read more…