The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, running from the hips to the feet. Consequently, painful sciatic flare-ups can be some of the worst, involving pain, numbness, and tingling that runs the length of the nerve. Irritation or inflammation of this nerve can be a serious condition that persists if left unchecked.
Many patients believe that over-the-counter (OTC) medications are a harmless way to alleviate sciatic pain. While they will temporarily relieve pain, they don’t address the root cause of that pain. Thus, begins a cycle of dependency: pain necessitates medication, but medication doesn’t solve the problem, which means pain flares up over and over again.
The solution to breaking or preventing the OTC pain cycle is a simple one: chiropractic. Chiropractic can be an effective, natural, long-term way to manage and even alleviate sciatic pain. If you’re interested in learning more about how chiropractic can help you, the team at Graybar Chiropractic in Wilmington, NC is ready to educate you firsthand.
Recognizing sciatic pain
Sciatic pain ranges from a dull, achy sensation, to sharp, hot pain, to a pins and needles feeling like your leg “fell asleep.” The pain varies depending on the severity of the root cause (nerve compression) and the extent of nerve damage. The condition is easily recognizable because of its signature pain path: straight down the back of the leg.
Understanding sciatic pain and flare-ups
Often, the root of sciatic pain problems isn’t in the legs or hips where it might present, but actually in the lumbar (lower) spine. Sciatica is the result of issues in the lower back. This includes dysfunction of the muscles, ligaments, joints, or vertebral discs.
Sciatica is a form of referred pain because a problem elsewhere in the body (the lower back) causes pain in a different place (the leg). This is because of the key role your spine plays in regulating your central nervous system.
Coping with sciatic pain
Many patients turn to OTC medications such as Advil and Tylenol to relieve sciatic pain. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with occasional use of OTCs, long-term usage to combat chronic pain is different. Through continual use, you become more likely to experience the numerous side effects associated with these medications. Dosing also becomes higher because the body develops a tolerance to the active ingredients.
Chiropractic offers a better way. Your chiropractor will tailor a treatment that’s right for you and doesn’t rely on medication to mask pain. Instead, your treatment plan will be designed to resolve the lower back issues causing your sciatica and put you back on the road to a pain-free life.
In addition to spinal manipulation to address vertebral misalignments, your chiropractor is likely to design a physical therapy program that includes:
- Strengthening exercises targeting key muscle groups that support the spine;
- Stretches to loosen up ligaments and joints;
- Low-impact aerobic exercise like yoga to encourage cardiovascular health.
All of this comes together to create positive spinal wellness, better mobility and range of motion, and better nervous system health. All of these serve to lessen the likelihood of sciatic episodes.
Explore a chiropractic approach
If you’re suffering from frequent sciatic pain flare ups, Graybar Chiropractic wants to help. We’ve seen patients across Wilmington, NC area with sciatica concerns and helped them to better understand their condition. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll familiarize you with the Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) program we use to get optimal results when adjusting each patient’s unique spine.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.