Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms associated with the sciatic nerve as a result of nerve root compression, irritation and/or inflammation. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest in the body running from the base of the spine down into the buttock region and down through both legs. When this nerve becomes pinched, inflamed or compressed, patients can experience a range of debilitating symptoms and pain that vary in intensity and frequency and can last for just a few days to several weeks depending upon the surrounding circumstances.
Sciatica generally occurs on one side of the body but can occasionally affect both sides in the lower extremities. Familiar symptoms may include radiating pain into the feet and legs, burning pain down the buttock and leg, muscle cramping and weakness in the back of the thighs and numbness and tingling along the side or back of the leg and into the feet.
Various disorders can cause sciatic nerve pain including misalignments of the lumbar spinal bones, herniated or bulging discs, slip and fall injuries, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one’s back pocket wallet. Another common cause of sciatica is piriformis syndrome wherein injuries or muscle sprains/strains cause the piriformis muscle to cramp and spasm that causes inflammation and pain.
Chiropractic physicians are one of the primary choices in diagnosing and treating sciatica. In addition to a thorough examination, diagnostic testing such as x-rays, MRI, CT Scan and nerve conduction studies are commonly used to identify the cause of the problem. Chiropractic physicians are highly trained and skilled in treating sciatica using a non-invasive, non-surgical and drug-free approach. Treatment is typically pain-free and usually lasts an average of several weeks in order to reduce inflammation and swelling, muscle spasms, nerve impingement and spinal misalignments. Spinal adjustments used have been proven to be safe, effective and comfortable. Sciatica can also be caused by other disorders beyond the scope of chiropractic practice. If the doctor of chiropractic determines the patient’s disorder requires treatment by another type of doctor, then the patient is referred to another specialty. In some cases, the referring chiropractor may continue to treat the patient and co-manage the patient’s care with the other specialist.
Dr. Louis Stimmel, D.C., of Harrison Spine & Rehabilitation Center, is board certified with over 25 years of clinical practice experience. Stimmel has been board certified as a chiropractic sports physician and is certified in hospital protocols and privileges. He has frequently lectured to orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and medical physicians on the benefits of chiropractic care. Stimmel is highly trained and experienced in treating conditions such as sciatica utilizing a variety of safe, gentle and pain-free techniques along with the latest physical therapies to relieve pain and discomfort. Unique to his office, Stimmel utilizes a revolutionary rehabilitation treatment called cold laser to enhance the treatment of sciatica in a rapid and pain-free approach. Contact his office today at 973-483-3380 for a free consult and evaluation.
– Louis Stimmel, D.C. Harrison Spine & Rehab