Lately I have gotten a lot of patients in with sciatica, even some new patients who were in near excruciating pain due to acute, flared up sciatica. Thankfully, with my incredible tools of chiropractic adjusting and Applied Kinesiology muscle testing and treatment techniques, I have been able to relieve most of my sciatica patients of their pain, so I figured I would do a post all about sciatica!
Sciatica is pain traveling from the lower back or butt down the leg, sometimes all the way to the foot, and is usually caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This could be due to a number of different causes, including disc injury, spinal misalignment, internal inflammation, emotional stress, and more!
Again, I don't know what I would do without muscle testing! Through muscle testing, I can determine if the patient does indeed have a spinal misalignment causing irritation of the nerve, and if so if it is appropriate to adjust them and how so. I also use muscle testing to determine any muscle imbalances in the hips and pelvis causing problems in this area. We may adjust, do muscle therapy, use pelvic blocking, etc.
I can also use muscle testing to determine if other causes of sciatica are present, including ileocecal valve (gastro-intestinal) dysfunction, which often causes symptoms of sciatica as well. We often will fix the ileocecal valve through a number of manual techniques. Retrograde, or improper, flow of lymphatics (waste drainage) from the body can also contribute to sciatica. Another factor in sciatica? Sugar consumption. I use Total Body Modification techniques to address blood sugar balance in the body, sometimes working on reflex points, giving certain adjustments, etc. Another major cause of sciatica? Emotions! Emotional stress is so important to consider in health. Again, thankfully, Applied Kinesiology and my mentor have taught me effective mind-body techniques that can be done right in the office during the treatment! Sometimes it is necessary to take a nutritional supplement such as Manganese, B12, or Ligaplex to aid in healing the disc if it has been injured. I again use muscle testing to determine if the patient may benefit from any of these supplements.
As with any health condition, sciatica has a multitude of factors to consider, including not only structural/musculoskeletal, but also chemical and emotional. In my opinion, chiropractic care should be the first line of care for sciatica. Conventional medicine often takes a pharmaceutical approach to sciatica with pain killers and muscle relaxers. Why not fix the true cause?