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How Effective is Chiropractic for Sciatica?

By Dave Slovak
Updated Feb 23, 2024
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There is some debate over what the best course of treatment is for sciatica, a very painful condition that is particularly common among pregnant women. Many expectant mothers and others suffering from sciatica have considered receiving chiropractic care because of its noninvasive, nonsurgical nature. Although chiropractic for sciatica has been debated by many different groups, it is clear that chiropractors believe their method of treatment is effective for relieving and correcting sciatica.

Chiropractors feel confident that chiropractic for sciatica is a great option for those looking to alleviate the pain and correct the problems caused by the condition. Chiropractors are capable of diagnosing and evaluating sciatica without consulting osteopaths, and they treat the condition like they would any other problem rooted in spinal misalignment: the course of treatment is based on regularly adjusting the spine. The vertebrae will then realign and decompress, allowing the muscles around the spine to function properly and eventually reducing strain on the muscles that are pinching the sciatic nerve. The overall goal is to relieve the pinched nerve and remove undue stress on the surrounding muscles.

The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body, which is one of the reasons that sciatica is so painful and sometimes takes multiple chiropractic treatments for patients to experience relief. When determining whether to try chiropractic for sciatica treatment, individuals should realize that chiropractors like to get to the origin of the problem before adjusting a patient’s spine. Most chiropractors use X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to review the curve, composition and general health of the spine. Considering chiropractic’s natural, noninvasive, nonsurgical approach, it can take a visit or two to pinpoint the problem and proper course of treatment.

The practice of chiropractics centers on spinal adjustment and alignment, yet many chiropractors use electrical stimulation devices to enhance the healing process when treating sciatica. Electrical stimulation is particularly effective for the treatment of sciatica because it reduces muscles spasms and nerve irritation and inflammation. Some chiropractors also partner with massage therapists when using chiropractic for sciatica treatment. This supplemental therapy helps targeted muscles heal more quickly.

Sciatica is a common condition. The question of whether people can successfully be treated through chiropractic for sciatica has been debated by different groups within the medical community. While that debate has remained unsettled, thousands of individuals and especially pregnant women have sought out chiropractic care to resolve their problems with sciatica.

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