If you’re suffering from sciatica pain, you’re not the only one.
Up to 40 percent of people will have sciatic nerve pain at some point in their lives, and the risk increases with age. Obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle also increase the chances of developing this common symptom.
What Grayson Sciatica Treatment Options Do I Have?
If you’ve been diagnosed with sciatica or recently started having symptoms, a chiropractor at Optimum Health Rehab can provide you with multiple treatment options.
We take a holistic approach to helping our patients by getting to know you, your life, and your goals. Our team will work together to combine treatments for the best possible outcome, and we’ll make adjustments to the treatment plan based on how you’re doing.
If your sciatica has not been previously diagnosed, we may take X-rays or perform other tests to get a clear idea of what’s happening – a firm diagnosis is essential before beginning treatment. If your pain is caused by another issue, we can diagnose and treat that ailment.
If you do have sciatica, here are some of the treatments we may consider:
Usually, our first concern is to relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve. One way we might do that is to perform a chiropractic adjustment.
Vertebrae, or small bones in the spine, can slip out of alignment for many reasons, including repetitive motions, injury, trauma, or even sleeping in an odd position. We’ll do a manual examination of your spine, then adjust any misaligned vertebrae back into position.
In many cases, this takes the pressure off the sciatic nerve. Many patients report that they feel relief almost immediately.
However, depending on the reasons for the misalignment, some patients may have recurring issues where the vertebrae move back out of place again. We can continue to perform adjustments, but we will also recommend other therapies to address the root cause.
One of these additional options is physical rehab, which often goes hand-in-hand with chiropractic adjustment and other therapies.
Your physical rehab specialist will prescribe exercises to help you improve your posture, strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your spine, and increase flexibility. Some of these exercises also allow you to open up the spine and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, reducing pain.
You’ll learn the exercises at a Physical Rehab Specialist session, then you’ll be expected to continue them at home. If you can’t do so for any reason, please let your physical rehab specialist know right away so they can help you find a solution.
Your rehab specialist may also work on occupational issues, like sitting or lifting heavy objects.
If you’re required to sit for extended periods at work, they may suggest a more ergonomic chair or a standing desk. Or the therapist might recommend taking frequent breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around your desk.
If heavy lifting is an issue, your rehab specialist will coach you on lifting with your legs and on asking coworkers for assistance to take some strain off your back. Sometimes, you may need to take a break from heavy lifting entirely, and we can provide a letter for your employer if needed.
Trigger Point Therapy or Myofascial Release
In this therapy, a chiropractor or massage therapist will feel for tense or “knotted” areas in the muscles or other soft tissues. These frequently occur with sciatica and can add to your pain and other symptoms.
Once the therapist locates a knot, they apply pressure until it relaxes, releasing tension. Many people feel relief after only a few sessions of trigger point therapy.
If other treatments haven’t been successful, your chiropractor may consider whether you are a good candidate for platelet-rich plasma injections or PRP therapy.
This treatment uses your body’s own healing factors to promote the healing of a damaged or inflamed nerve, such as the sciatic nerve.
How does the procedure work?
First, we’ll take a blood sample from you. Then, while you wait in our office, we put the blood in a centrifuge, a device that spins around and separates the blood into its components, one of which is plasma.
This liquid contains platelets, proteins, and other healing compounds that can promote tissue repair. But when the plasma is distributed throughout your blood, only small amounts of these healing compounds reach any area of your body at a given time.
After separating the plasma, we spin it again, leaving two samples: Platelet-rich plasma and platelet-poor plasma. The platelet-rich plasma has the most healing components, so we will use that for your injection, which is guided by ultrasound.
This ensures the injection goes directly to the sciatic nerve.
The entire procedure is done in one day within our office, so you don’t have to return at another time or wait for a second appointment. We’ll numb the area before your injection so you’ll be comfortable, and you can go home afterward.
We recommend taking it easy for a few days, but many people return to their regular activities quickly. You do need to avoid certain supplements and over-the-counter medications for a few weeks after your injection for best results.
How soon will you see the results? It’s different for everyone, but some patients feel better in a few weeks, while others may see benefits after 6-8 weeks.
Electrical Stimulation or E-Stim
Sometimes nerve pain can be challenging to treat, especially if the nerve has already suffered permanent damage.
If you still have pain and other symptoms, we may recommend electrical stimulation, or E-Stim, a therapy that uses low-volt electrical currents to interrupt pain signals on their way to the brain. For many patients, this provides a drug-free option for pain relief.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica refers to inflammation or damage to the sciatic nerve, which begins in the lower back and runs down the back of each leg.
Your sciatic nerve is essential for movement and sensation in your legs, so if it becomes inflamed, you might have various unusual feelings – tingling, numbness, burning, or pain. The presentation can vary from person to person, but here are some common signs of sciatica:
- Some patients report they have pain in one area of the leg and numbness or tingling in another.
- Others may have alternating symptoms of numbness, tingling, burning, and pain.
- You might have pain, numbness, or tingling in your lower back, the back part of your thigh, the back or outside of your calf or lower leg, or the sole of your foot.
- Most patients have sciatic pain on only one side.
- Some people find that the affected foot or leg is weak or that they have difficulty walking. Lifting your foot off the ground might become difficult.
- The pain may worsen after you’ve been sitting or standing for a while. Pain can vary from a sharp, stabbing sensation to a dull ache.
- For some people, bending backward or walking for a prolonged period can worsen or bring on symptoms.
What Causes Sciatica?
Anything that harms or puts pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. Some common causes include:
- Disk disease. A slipped or herniated disk often compresses the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis. An unusually narrow space inside the backbone characterizes this condition. In certain cases, genetics plays a role – some people are born with a naturally narrow spinal column and are at increased risk of further narrowing and sciatic nerve problems. Others may develop stenosis due to changes in the spine caused by arthritis, bone spurs, tumors, thick ligaments, scoliosis, or injuries. (These causes may also contribute directly to sciatica as well.)
- Injuries in the lower back or pelvis, such as a pelvic fracture. Some people may develop sciatic nerve pain after a car accident due to misaligned vertebrae pressing on the nerve or other injuries. Because these injuries don’t always cause symptoms right away, it’s a good idea to seek medical care right away after an accident. If not, you should see a chiropractor as soon as you start having back pain and let them know about your accident.
- Occupational hazards. If you have a job that requires long hours of sitting, this can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. However, desk jobs aren’t the only potential cause – if your job involves heavy lifting or twisting your back, this could also increase your risk of back problems and sciatica.
- Diabetes. If your blood sugar is uncontrolled, you’re at higher risk of nerve damage. This nerve damage most commonly occurs in the feet, but it can also affect the sciatic nerve.
Find Out More About Sciatica Treatment in Grayson
If you have pain from sciatica, the sooner you get treatment, the better. Please contact Optimum Health Rehab for a consultation about your treatment options.
Our helpful office staff members are available to answer questions about insurance coverage, transferring medical records, and scheduling.
Optimum Health Rehab is a collective of highly trained medical experts, chiropractors, physician’s assistants, and nurses who work to provide the best care possible for our patients.
We use our experience in pain management and injury recovery to help patients with sciatica or other painful conditions get back to their lives. Call us today at (678)985-7286.