If you’ve been suffering from sciatica or low back pain, you know how it disrupts your life. The pain stops you from enjoying the activities you love, affects your quality time with loved ones, and reduces your quality of life.
When it comes to sciatica and low back pain, there are two types of pain sufferers –
- Those who have been enduring pain for years
- Those with new-onset pain who are in need of proper diagnosis and treatment.
No matter which type of pain sufferer you are, there are options to help you return to your pain-free life!
What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve begins in your lower back and runs down each leg to your feet. It is comprised of nerves from your lower back and pelvis.
Sciatica is a condition in which this nerve becomes irritated, either by a joint, disc, or muscle. The irritation causes nerve pain that may radiate down your legs. Sciatica can also cause your legs to feel weak, or numb.
Sciatica carries risk of injury from falling due to leg numbness or weakness. In severe cases, a person suffering from sciatica may lose control of their bowels or bladder. This is a situation which requires emergency treatment.
Potential causes of Sciatica can be
- A herniated or degenerating disc
- A narrow spinal canal,
- Inflammation or loss of motion of a vertebral joint
- Tightness or inflammation of a spinal muscle
Risk factors for developing sciatica include –
- Having extra weight on your body
- A history of falls or accidents, even if you did not have back pain at the time
- Having a job involving lifting heavy objects frequently or sitting for long periods of time.
Most people who develop sciatica begin to notice symptoms somewhere between 30 and 50 years old.
What are My Options for Treatment?
There are several options available for sciatica relief, such as pharmaceuticals, chiropractic and exercise:
1. Pharmaceutical treatment options
While pharmaceutical treatments may ease the pain of sciatica, they are often only temporary solutions. Sometimes it’s necessary to get immediate relief of pain, and certain pharmaceuticals can work well to help you feel better. However, these medications simply mask the pain and do not fix the cause.
Medications for sciatica are oftentimes expensive and may cost hundreds of dollars if not covered by our Nova Scotia MSI program or private health insurance. That’s not to mention the side effects, which include stomach complaints, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and nausea. And that can be just from over the counter pain relievers.
If you are prescribed an opiod, the risks are higher. Taking opioid pain medication over a long period can cause addiction or dependency, and there is potential (albeit low) for a fatal drug overdose.
2. Non-pharmaceutical solutions
Chiropractic care is a safe, non-pharmaceutical choice for sciatica. Your chiropractor will work with you to establish an appropriate plan to not only get you out of pain but to prevent it from coming back.
While chiropractic care for sciatica requires multiple visits, chiropractic doesn’t just mask the pain – it helps to solve the underlying problem.
On average sciatica sufferers have 10-12 visits* in order to relieve radiating nerve pain and numbness. However, mobility is improved in just two to three visits!
In addition, your chiropractor will provide you with at home instructions to help you manage your symptoms:
- Exercises to help you keep the pain away for the long term.
- Sometimes advise on ergonomics in the workplace, while sleeping, or driving
- Will also help you be pain-free while you enjoy your normal activities.
Safety of chiropractic care
It’s estimated that each year in the United States, 140,000 people die as a result of medication reactions. People who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) long term for pain relief are at risk for developing gastrointestinal complications, such as ulcers.
Chiropractic care is a safer alternative to pharmaceutical sciatica treatment. In fact, a research study reported by the British Medical Journal in 1999 found that chiropractic care ranks among the safest treatment options available.
The risk of complications from taking NSAIDs long-term is 400 times greater than the risk of complications from receiving neck adjustments as part of chiropractic treatment.
Discussing your Path to Wellness
We encourage all sufferers of back pain in Halifax and area to book at 15 minute consultation with one of our Chiropractors. From this we can begin to discuss if Chiropractic is a good option for treatment of your pain and discomfort.
Don’t let sciatica take you from your favorite activities, or enjoying time with your family.Take the first step toward improving your quality of life, and fill out our form, or call Glenbourne Chiropractic to book your 15-minute consultation at (902) 445-9335.
*Everyone’s body is different, and each person receives varying results from chiropractic treatment. Please book a 15-minute consultation with one of our chiropractors to discuss your path to wellness.