In this article, let’s talk about sciatica. The pesky condition that can make sitting, standing, and even walking feel like a real pain in the butt (literally!). It’s caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in your body. The nerve itself runs from your lower back, through your hips and buttocks, and down each leg. So when the sciatic nerve gets compressed, it can cause all sorts of unpleasant symptoms like pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back, hips, legs, and feet. Yikes!
Now, there are a few different things that can lead to having sciatica, but two of the biggest culprits are workplace stress and injury. We’ve all been there, right? Hunching over a computer all day, prolonged sitting and standing, and lifting heavy boxes— If you are not careful all of these can cause muscle tension, postural imbalances, and spinal misalignments. Together, this is what irritates the root of the sciatic nerve, leading to those dreaded sciatica symptoms.
As sciatica is a painful and debilitating condition, those who have it usually turn to painkillers as they can provide fast relief. However, this effect is temporary as it only ‘masks’ the pain. Once the effect subsides, the pain will come back and it will likely be a repetitive cycle of taking medications which can be full of side effects. Another option is surgery, but it can be very risky and expensive. The recovery is also a hard process and healing may take a longer time if the surgery involves more than one vertebra or disc.
Weighing these options, it is sensible to why a natural approach like Chiropractic may be a more sustainable option for long-term sciatica management and relief. Not only it gives little to no side effects but it also helps address the root cause of the problem without the need for drugs or surgery. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics attests to this. Results show that chiropractic adjustments were more effective than placebo in reducing sciatic nerve pain . By realigning the spine through gentle manipulation, chiropractic helps restore proper alignment and nerve function. This can help reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and alleviate sciatica symptoms.
Other Natural Approaches
In addition to spinal adjustments, we also recommend other natural approaches to manage sciatica. Most of these are lifestyle changes that require a bit of commitment but doing so will significantly help with sciatica symptoms:
- Avoid prolonged positions at home and work. Long periods in a static position can worsen your sciatica. Do your best to take breaks and change positions when necessary.
- Maintain good posture when you can. Proper alignment can help reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and prevent further injury.
- Exercise and stretch regularly. Physical activities like swimming, walking, and yoga can improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. This helps to prevent further injury and reduces sciatica pain. On the other hand, incorporating stretches into your daily routine improves flexibility and relieves tension in the lower back, hips, and legs.
- Eat a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. Certain fruits and vegetables, plus omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and relieve sciatica pain.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and tension in the body, which can alleviate sciatica symptoms.
It’s important to seek professional help if you suspect that you have sciatica. Left unnoticed, sciatica can cause long-term damage to the sciatic nerve and lead to chronic pain and disability.
Here at Norwest Chiropractic, we specialize in providing safe and effective care for sciatica and other musculoskeletal conditions. Our team of experienced chiropractors uses a holistic approach to address the root causes of sciatica and provide personalized care plans for each individual. If you’re experiencing sciatica symptoms or workplace-related pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. We’re committed to helping you achieve optimal health and wellness through natural, non-invasive chiropractic care.
Sources:  McMorland G, Suter E, Casha S, du Plessis SJ, Hurlbert RJ. Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010;33(8):576-584.