Sciatica Treatment

About Us

Indian Harbor Chiropractic

Diana Gailes, DC

Chiropractor located in Cos Cob, CT

If you are experiencing a burning pain that runs from the lower back, down through your hips, and to the legs, you are probably suffering from sciatica. Sciatica affects four out of ten people at some point in their life, and the symptoms can cause pain, discomfort, or even disability. About 90% of sciatica cases are caused by a herniated disk or spinal stenosis, but studies have proven that the most effective treatment for sciatica is non-surgical care. As long as conservative treatment is received, most sciatica patients have a positive prognosis, and only 20% to 30% of sciatica cases have presented persisting problems for one to two years. Non-medical, holistic treatment from the best chiropractor in Greenwich, CT is the most effective means of recovery. Turn to Indian Harbor Chiropractic in Cos Cob, Connecticut where your chiropractor Dr. Diana Gailes will apply the appropriate, personalized treatment for your sciatica and offer highly effective relief. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

Sciatica Q&A

​​​​​​​What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is most often caused when a bulging disc or bone spur compresses the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, running from the lower back down the back of the leg. Because of its length, the sciatic nerve is vulnerable to excessive pressure, which can lead to sciatica. Sciatica pain typically begins in the lower back and radiates to the hips, knees, and legs. Most patients experience pain, numbness, and tingling in the back, hips, and legs.

The sciatic nerve can be compressed by a number of conditions, including:

  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Tumor
  • Inflammation
  • Infection or an autoimmune disease.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The most obvious indicator of sciatica is a radiating pain that travels down the leg. Sometimes lower pack pain is paired with leg pain from sciatica. Dr. Gailes often performs the straight leg raising test (or Lasègue's sign) in order to properly diagnose sciatica and assure the sensitivity levels are in the proper range for diagnosis. She will later identify the location of the herniated disk (the most likely culprit) for more focused treatment.

The symptoms of sciatica can vary from person to person and based on the cause. However, the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the lower back that radiates down the leg
  • Pain in foot
  • Numbness in foot
  • Intense pain that makes it hard to stand up
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg
  • Leg pain that worsens when sitting
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anxiety symptoms.

What are the causes of sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc. Sometimes referred to as a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc bulges out or ruptures through a tear, disrupting the vertebrae in the spine and the nerves. This is often the cause of pressure on the sciatic nerve. Other causes of sciatica include:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Tumor
  • Inflammation
  • Sleeping poorly
  • Poor Ergonomics
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Occupation
  • Diabetes

What can I do to prevent sciatica?

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent sciatica, including:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Good posture
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Stretch regularly

What are the complications of sciatica?

In rare cases, sciatica can lead to complications, such as:

  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Chronic pain
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Weakness in the leg

How is sciatica holistically treated?

The treatment for sciatica depends on the severity of your symptoms and the cause. In most cases, sciatica can be treated with chiropractic care, avoiding surgery and medical intervention. Studies have proven that anti-inflammatory drugs have not shown a significant impact on the recovery process of sciatica, and only provide short term relief. Treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Ice therapy
  • Heat therapy
  • Stretching and exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care

What are specific chiropractic methods used to treat sciatica?

At Indian Harbor Chiropractic we know that misalignments of the spine, or vertebral subluxations, can contribute to sciatica. Manipulations during adjustments can restore movement to the joints or parts of the spine that have an alignment issue. We use a variety of techniques to adjust the spine and improve alignment including:

Chiropractic adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments can realign your spine or other parts of the body, reduce tension, and alleviate discomfort due to sciatica symptoms and pain.

Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT)

Spinal manipulation is accomplished through high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) adjustments. This is a technique where Dr. Gailes will apply a controlled thrust to a joint of the spine. This motion moves the joint more than it would on its own. SMT is actually a collection of techniques which include massage or mobilization of soft tissue, adjustment of spinal subluxations, trigger point therapy, cross-friction massage, active release therapy, and mechanical traction on an area of the spine or on an extremity.

Myofascial release

This technique uses gentle pressure to release tension in the muscles and fascia, relieving pain and improving range of motion.

Activator techniques

These adjustments use a small, handheld instrument to deliver low-force impulses at specific points.

What are some other chiropractic treatments used to treat sciatica?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS sends electrical pulses through the skin to start your body's own painkillers. The electrical pulses can release endorphins and other substances to stop pain signals in the brain. TENS can reduce pain. Tens also works on muscles and causes muscle contractions by stimulating α-motor neurons. It is highly effective in improving muscle function, strengthening muscles, and improving joint range of motion.

Massage Therapy

Dr. Gailes may use massage therapy with a variety of techniques to manipulate the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help to reduce muscle tension, improve range of motion, and promote circulation.

Class IV Laser therapy

Dr. Gailes is currently the only chiropractor in Greenwich, CT offering Class IV Laser Therapy. Dr. Gailes uses chiropractic adjustments and laser therapy to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and speed up recovery times for all types of injuries. Laser therapy will reduce pain by over 50% in three to four treatments and can complement chiropractic adjustments or be used as an independent form of treatment.

Where can I learn more about sciatica?

There are a number of resources available to help you learn more about sciatica. These include:

  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • The Cleveland Clinic
  • The Mayo Clinic
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Begin with chiropractic care today

For complete sciatica relief call the Indian Harbor Chiropractic office or schedule an appointment online today.



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