What is Sciatica and How Can Chiropractic Help?

Have you experienced sciatica? This condition, which involves pain that shoots from the lower back, past the hips, and down the leg, is extremely common, affecting about 40 percent of people. It occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, often because of a herniated disc or bone spur pressing on the nerve. Typically, this condition resolves on its own, but if it doesn’t, it can lead to permanent nerve damage. In some cases, the patient loses feeling in the affected leg or loses control of the bowel and bladder. Lifestyle adjustments can sometimes help with sciatica, and there are medications that can be used to treat it, as well as surgical options for extreme cases. However, for patients who prefer more natural forms of treatment, physical therapy can relieve sciatica pain, and chiropractic may promote faster sciatica recovery.  

Sciatica Treament & Procedures in Salem and Aloha, OR

Does research support the use of chiropractic for sciatica? Despite the fact that it’s been in practice for hundreds of years and is increasingly covered by health insurance, chiropractic can be controversial. Until recently, there weren’t many studies demonstrating its safety and efficacy, but recently, multiple studied have come out that reinforce chiropractic’s benefits for back pain. Various types of back pain, including sciatica, is one of the most recommended uses of chiropractic treatment. What’s more, the National Institutes of Health points to research that supports chiropractic care as safe for most people.

How can a chiropractor help with sciatica? Chiropractors are well-versed in musculoskeletal concerns, and are effective at determining the root cause of the problem. They use techniques like spinal manipulation, manual therapy like massage, and trigger point therapy. A trigger point is a knot in the muscle, resulting from muscle contractions that are caused by underuse or overuse. These trigger points respond well to deep pressure on the muscle fibers. Strategies that employ heat, manipulation, massage, and acupuncture are all examples of how a chiropractor can provide lower back or sciatica pain relief. By helping patients manage sciatica, chiropractors help reduce the need for pain relievers and other medications.

There are also natural ways of preventing sciatica, which include:

  • Changing positions often, especially when sitting for long periods during the day.
  • Low impact exercise that strengthens the back and core muscles, providing support to the spine to alleviate sciatica.
  • Heat and ice, whether an ice pack for 20 minutes, a heating pad, or a warm shower, can reduce back pain.
  • Stretching the hip and hamstring muscles can relieve pressure on the lower back and significantly improve sciatica pain.
  • Yoga improves strength, posture, and flexibility as well as providing the benefits of pain relief, exercise, and relaxation.
  • A massage loosens tight muscles and alleviates back pain.

If you’d like to try chiropractic for your sciatica, trust Oregon Medical Centers. Founded in 1989 as First Choice Chiropractic, Oregon Medical Centers was established in 2018 after adding Medical Providers and becoming an integrated medical facility. Specialists in treating car accident and workplace injuries, we also treat conditions like sciatica, pinched nerves, TMJ, neck and back pain, headaches, joint pain, and much more. We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and regenerative medicine, and we specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Our dedicated medical team provides high-level care and compassion for patients in a collaborative environment where patients get the best possible treatment. What’s more, our insurance department assists in the insurance process, to alleviate stress for patients and allow them to focus on getting better. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, or contact us through our website.


May 02, 2023