Sciatica is pain in the buttocks and legs arising from impingement of the sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine. The sciatic nerve runs all the way to the feet and is usually accompanied by back pain at the site of compression.
Sciatic nerve pain is a type of radiculopathy. It “can be intolerable,” according to Dartmouth College physiotherapist Birgit Ruppert. “Some people liken it to the nerve pain you experience if you have a toothache.”
When searching for sciatica treatment, Phoenix residents can benefit from several safe and effective approaches.
Three out of five individuals who had been unhappy with other treatments and switched to chiropractic care reported the same degree of pain alleviation as people who underwent an operation instead, according to research published in 2010. One of the researchers, Canadian chiropractor Gordon McMorland, said that chiropractic doesn’t just relieve pain but also is anti-inflammatory, allowing individuals to access their innate healing capacity.
Peer-reviewed research featured in Pain revealed that when back pain patients participated in yoga for four months, their improvements were extraordinary: 64% lower pain ratings and 77% lower levels of disability. By enhancing range of motion and building the muscles, yoga targets sciatic nerve pain by allowing patients to “move and function better so they don’t fall into a posture that aggravates the sciatica,” according to Oregon psychologist James W. Carson, PhD.
When you’re suffering from sciatica, typically massage therapists will use a specialized approach called trigger-point therapy.
The sciatic nerve lies beneath the piriformis muscle. If the muscle spasms or tightens, it essentially starts to infringe on the corridor through which the sciatic nerve passes, leading to radiating pain throughout the length of that nerve. American Massage Therapy Association VP Jeff Smoot said that treating sciatica is best achieved by massaging sites of irritation, called trigger points, in the piriformis and the vicinity.
Just because you’re suffering from severe pain does not mean that you have to take pain medication either orally or topically. Integrative medicine practitioners, such as Tieraona Low Dog, MD, recommend St. John’s wort oil (for its anti-inflammatory compounds) and over-the-counter cayenne pepper cream (for its capsaicin, which slows the rate at which pain neurotransmitters are released).
Movement & physiotherapy
You may not feel like becoming more active when you are experiencing sciatica, but it’s essential to recovery. Moving your body brings more oxygen and other nutrients to the area, flushing out the inflammatory chemicals. Fifteen-minute walks can help. Physiotherapists can recommend specific stretches and exercises to make you stronger, allowing the spine to achieve better alignment and preventing reinjury.
When in need of sciatica treatment, Phoenix patients trust Pain Stop Clinics. We can develop an individualized pain management program with you, with expertise from our medical doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists. Experience patient-centered care for sciatica today!