Sciatica and Chiropractic

Most of you probably have heard the term sciatica or know someone who has suffered from sciatic pain. But, do you really know what sciatica is? Many people mistakenly use the word sciatica when referencing lower back pain without knowing the actual cause. Sciatica is a term used to describe nerve pain in the leg caused by irritation and/or compression of the sciatic nerve.

Do you think you have sciatica?

The hallmark presentation of sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttock down the back of the leg and into the bottom of the foot following the specific sciatic nerve pathway. This occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes inflamed or pinched as it exits the spinal canal. The pain is always one-sided and can vary widely from mild to debilitating and can be achy, sharp, burning, shooting, or even feel like an electric shock. Weakness (atrophy) in the muscles of the leg or calf can also accompany the pain.

Are you at risk for sciatica and don’t even know it? The most common risk factors for sciatica include but are not limited to age-related degenerative changes in the lumbar spine (bone spurs, spinal stenosis, arthritis), disc herniation, obesity, diabetes, occupational-related and/or living a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. Do you fall into any of these categories? If so, you should consider Chiropractic as your first response to preventative care or treatment for sciatica.

Chiropractors utilize adjustments or spinal manipulation to treat subluxation of the spine. A subluxation is classified as a restricted segment or misalignment of the spine. Over time, this may cause either a pinpoint or radiating pain as well as dysfunction to the associated organ, muscle, or tissue group. The overall goal of corrective chiropractic care is to induce proper movement of the spinal vertebrae. This improves function, decreases pain, restores proper spinal alignment, and allows the nervous system to function at 100%, or what we call OPTIMUM. So, why walk around with your spine out of alignment? Invest in your health now, make corrective changes to your lifestyle, and prevent this from becoming a permanent issue in the future. At Knecht Chiropractic Clinic, in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, we specialize in the detection and correction of subluxation.

What else can you do to avoid sciatica? Prevention is key. Regular exercise that specifically focuses on strengthening your core and lumbar musculature is essential for maintaining proper posture and spinal alignment. How do you maintain proper posture? Easy, assess your surroundings and evaluate your environment. Apply good healthy ergonomics to your workspace and incorporate good body mechanics into your daily routine. When sitting at a desk, make sure your feet are flat on the floor and knees are at a 90-degree angle, desk height is proportional to your body height, the computer screen is directly at eye level and the keyboard/mouse is in reach allowing for bent elbows when typing or working prolonged periods at your work station. Choose a seat with a straight back or even try sitting on an exercise ball to ensure proper posture when sitting for prolonged periods of time. Humans were not evolutionarily designed for a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies NEED to move. Get up and move every hour. Whether it laps around your apartment or walking in place at your desk, movement is always the answer. Set a timer on your phone or watch as a reminder. You’ll thank me later.

If you or a loved one suffers from sciatica, come see us at Knecht Chiropractic Clinic, in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, for an evaluation to see if we can help.

References:

Sciatica. Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435 Accessed November 11, 2021.

Schulz, Craig A et al. “Chiropractic and self-care for back-related leg pain: design of a randomized clinical trial.” Chiropractic & manual therapies vol. 19 8. 22 Mar. 2011, doi:10.1186/2045-709X-19-8

Sciatica. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00351. Accessed November 11, 2021.

Shekelle P, et al. Spinal manipulation in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed November 11, 2021.

Can a Chiropractor help with sciatica? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/chiropractor-for-sciatica#chiropractic-basics Accessed November 11, 2021.

What Our Patients Say

My chiropractic journey began when I was just two years old. There was a time when I would lie down to sleep and immediately start coughing. My mother took me to the doctor and of course was given cough medicine. Then someone said to her "maybe you should try and take her to a chiropractor." Low and behold my windpipe was off track. From then on, we went to the chiropractor for regular adjustments. I have fond memories of going behind the Doctor and placing my fingers on my mother's spine, imitating him. Quite often she'd look up and say, " I thought that was him!" What brought me back is the knowledge and belief in the holistic care that a chiropractor can give you. Our bodies are meant to heal themselves; and with the right support and those who think this as well, like a chiropractor, this can be achieved. With constantly sitting at a computer, looking down and daily tasks of lifting things; I knew it was time to return. My experience has been very positive so far with Dr. Knecht and his wonderful team. So far I've noticed that I have less migraines, and my cycle has drastically improved. In the past I've only ever had adjustments, but their approach in doing adjustment and exercises each visit is definitely putting me on the right track again physically. I also feel driven to think about my daily life in how I move my body and how what I do affects the way I feel. Whenever anyone talks about back or neck pain, I always say you should visit a chiropractor. I speak of my current experience and how it is helping me. I plan on making this a regular thing in my life.

Latoya T.

Before I began treatment with Dr. Knecht’s team, I suffered from various sports injuries that other doctors and physical therapy couldn’t address. Starting with a fall three years ago, I would partially recover from one injury only to have a new injury arise. My body became a game of whack-a-mole—each time I made progress treating one injury or source of pain, a new injury or source of pain arose. And the injuries ranged from head and neck trauma, to back pain and pelvic imbalances, to a torn plantar fascia. From top to bottom, there was always at least one ailment that prevented me from being active. As a lifelong athlete, I’d lost hope that I would ever be myself again. Then I moved to Lakeview and noticed Dr. Knecht’s office. I wondered whether a chiropractor could help me. I decided to try. The difference was clear from my initial consult. Instead of focusing on only one part of my body, the team x-rayed me from C1 through my pelvis and in various positions. Dr. Knecht then met with me privately to review the x-rays, discuss his assessment, and define a treatment plan. I immediately felt hopeful that Dr. Knecht’s team could put me together again. For the first time, a doctor assessed my body holistically! Using my x-rays as a reference point, Dr. Knecht explained how subluxations and issues in some areas of my body were causing issues in other areas. Suddenly, my injuries and pain seemed less random, less like a game of whack-a-mole. My body started to make sense to me. In addition to assessing my body holistically, Dr. Knecht’s team treats me holistically. My treatment includes chiropractic adjustments to my spine and pelvis, traction, physiotherapy, and massage therapy. It also includes stretches and exercises that I do on my own. Within the first month of treatment, my mobility started to improve, and my pain started to subside. As the treatment progresses, we continue to unravel years of compounded damage and I continue to heal. I’m now able to enjoy most of my pre-injury activities and I plan to start running and cycling again soon. I also plan to continue investing in chiropractic care and doing the exercises and stretches that the team prescribed. If you’re struggling with pain or an injury, or something simply doesn’t feel quite right, I highly recommend that you start working with Dr. Knecht’s team as soon as possible. They’ll provide invaluable insight and get you on a solid path to recovery. And, don’t wait to start your treatment. Looking back, I realize that I could have saved myself much pain and avoided additional injuries if I had started working with them sooner.

Marci B.

The initial reason I came to Knecht Chiropractic was due to was severe lower back pain. The back pain was from working out and doing heavy lifting in the gym, as well as not taking care of it over a three-year period. Since going to the chiropractor, I have experienced reduced pain in my lower back, and it has essentially completely subsided. I am now able to start lifting heavier in the gym again. I have also met some pretty cool people at Knecht Chiropractic! Donna, Dylan and Brandi are my favs! Something I’ve learned is that stretching is super important! Donna has been a great help hammering that into my head. I now stretch every single day and that has played a huge part in improving my back issues. I have noticed a huge improvement in the gym and when I sleep as well as a result of the stretching and the adjustments. I am not as sore getting out of bed in the morning now. It used to be horrible trying to get out of bed. If I knew someone struggling with pain, I would tell them to go see a chiropractor, but you have to stick with it. It will be worth it in the end. I will 100% keep up with the health of my spine. When I first entered the practice, I could barely walk or sit down without excruciating pain. I am now pain free and I owe it all to the staff at Knecht!

Matthew O.

After touching down back in Chicago from numerous flights the previous months, I realized that I had an unbearable amount of pain in my neck. I ignored the pain up until I couldn’t move my neck. My range of motion was limited and caused excruciating pain when I did day to day activities such as lying in bed or even picking something off the ground. At that point I knew my pain wasn't going to go away without a professional. I reached out to every Chiropractor in the neighborhood and Knecht Chiropractic was the only chiropractor I heard back from in a timely manner with a flexible schedule. I’ve experienced both adjustments as well as physical therapy. I performed different unfamiliar exercises that are beneficial to more than just my neck. While attending Knecht, I’ve learned that there are 7 areas in my neck, and most of them did not move due to my poor posture and my incorrect sleeping positions. Aside from restoring my range of motion in my neck, I also benefited from tension relief on my lower back that I didn't realize I had. I walk around every day normalizing stress and convincing myself that I am healthy. I don’t take into account that my body is always in a state of fight or flight because that state is normal to me until Dr. Brittni tells me to take a deep breath and all of a sudden my body is relaxed. I’ve noticed posture improvement in myself as well as core strength. Every time I walk out of the clinic, I feel much happier than I did when I walked in. Happiness is a result of not only the pain relief, but the realization that this is the start of a new health journey. If a person with a similar condition were considering seeing a chiropractor, I would tell them to do it and that it is worth it. Based on my own experience, if I hadn't seen one, I wouldn't have known that I was close to having stage 3 arthritis in my neck. I’d be slowly deteriorating my health which could lead to more possible health issues in the future. It is always better to prioritize your health. Check up on yourself even if you think it's something minor. I will continue to take care of my spine even after I am done with my program at Knecht Chiropractor. Now that I have gone through this program, I see myself taking care of my spine in the immediate future by using what I have learned in my experience here and applying it to my everyday health routine. Let’s take care of ourselves now, so we can be stronger for the future.

Nancy W.

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