Sciatica is one of those painful ailments that always insists on sending you painful reminders of its presence. You may experience its characteristic leg pain and neurological dysfunction every time you sit down, stand up, bend over -- even a simple sneeze can produce agony.
If it's any consolation, you're far from alone in your suffering. Sciatica is known to afflict up to 10 percent of the population at any given time, especially in individuals approaching middle age. But you'll find more consolation in the knowledge that our West Omaha chiropractor, Doctor Kevin Kosak, at Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture can relieve your sciatica without relying on painkillers or surgery. What's our secret? A combination of two safe, non-surgical yet potent healing modalities: chiropractic care and acupuncture.
What exactly is sciatica? It's a syndrome characterized by irritation or inflammation of some part of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest single nerve in the body, the main conductor of nerve signals from the spinal cord to all the lesser nerves of the lower back, buttock, hip, thigh, calf, and foot. Anything that interferes with the sciatic nerve's function can cause any of these lesser nerves to go haywire -- with sciatica as the result.
Why do people struggle with sciatica, especially as they age through their 30s and 40s? Normal changes in the spinal column can certainly contribute. As you get older, your vertebral discs may bulge outward due to internal water loss. A bulging disc can press against the major nerve roots that connect the sciatic nerve to the lumbar spine.
Other age-related changes such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or spinal misalignment that becomes progressively worse over time can also compress sciatic nerve roots. Not all sciatica is naturally induced. A sudden impact to the spine, as in an auto accident injury, could cause major spinal dislocation and disc herniation that pinches sciatic nerve tissue.
Sciatica's symptoms have no trouble making themselves known. Either lower extremity (and, less commonly, both extremities) may be affected by:
Chiropractic adjustment has long been used as a non-invasive treatment method for fighting sciatica. Chiropractors can make small but significant shifts in your spinal alignment. These changes help to move pressure off of the sciatic nerve root being pinched, allowing it to conduct signals normally once again. Our chiropractor in West Omaha, Dr. Kosak, will examine your lower spine and analyze your symptoms with great care to determine exactly which disc or vertebra needs to be adjusted.
makes an effective complement to chiropractic care for sciatica. Over thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have identified 9 specific acupuncture points that work particularly well against sciatica. From a Western perspective, stimulation of these points causes the body to release natural painkillers called endorphins, which can greatly ease the sharp leg pains of sciatica. It also relaxes neighboring muscles, which not only helps take the pressure off of nerve tissue but also makes chiropractic adjustments easier.
Acupuncture's ability to boost blood flow helps to warm the treatment site and helps the body carry inflammatory substances away from the area. Studies have shown that acupuncture has a success rate of nearly 82 percent in relieving sciatica symptoms.
Don't let a needle phobia scare you away from acupuncture. We specialize in a technique called Teishin acupuncture. The special instruments used in this technique does not penetrate the skin at all -- while providing the same benefits as other forms of acupuncture.
As effective a combination as chiropractic care and acupuncture are in the treatment of sciatica, they aren't the only tools at our disposal. We can create a multi-modal treatment plan for you that also makes use of corrective exercises (to strengthen back support), physiotherapy, and ongoing lifestyle advice to help you get the upper hand over sciatica once and for all.
You won't find many West Omaha chiropractors who can bring both spinal adjustments and acupuncture to bear on your sciatica symptoms. Call our chiropractor in Omaha at (402) 964-0300 to schedule an appointment and find out if this exciting combination makes sense for you!