We provide sciatica treatment in Melbourne

Sciatica is a syndrome characterised by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. This is the longest and largest nerve in your body, and travels from your lower back, through your hip and buttock region and down your leg. This condition usually results from the compression of the sciatic nerve in the spine, due to existing medical conditions affecting it.

There are several, very diverse conditions that can compress the sciatic nerve and cause the pain. It’s important to know which condition is involved before seeking treatment for sciatica pain, as the effectiveness of the treatment will depend heavily on its root cause.

Common Causes

Herniated Disk
This condition is the leading cause of sciatica, and occurs when a vertebral disk is pushed away from its normal position. When this happens, the soft centre of the vertebral disk bulges, it will eventually compress the sciatic nerve within its location. This will eventually lead to inflammation of the vertebral disk, thus resulting in sciatica.

Arthritis
This medical condition mainly affects the joints. Contrary to popular belief, the vertebral disks are actually interconnected by joints. When arthritis occurs, it degenerates into what we call bone spurs – otherwise known as osteophytes. These are actually abnormal outgrowths formed on the edge of the joints. When these bones overgrow they eventually come into contact with the sciatic nerve, compressing it and causing the pain.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
This is a genetic condition where the spaces within the lumbar spine (where the sciatic nerves are encased) are smaller than the normal. This means that even a little pressure within the lumbar spine can trigger intense sciatic nerve pain, which radiates down all the way down to the legs.

Spondylolisthesis
This is yet another serious vertebral disk condition, where one vertebral disk is pushed forward towards another vertebral disk, encroaching upon its space. Apparently, this places intense pressure on the sciatic nerves, triggering the pain.

Piriformis Syndrome
The piriformis is a muscle found deep within the confines of the buttock and hip region, running horizontally over the top of the sciatic nerve. When this muscle is inflamed, it causes compression of the sciatic nerve, triggering pain.

Pregnancy
Weight gain is normal during pregnancy, but it can also put pressure on the buttocks, hips and front part of the spine, compressing the sciatic nerve. However, once a woman returns to normal weight after pregnancy, pressure on the lumbar area will be neutralised.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are a number of options for sciatica treatment in Melbourne. Because a chiropractor’s main focus is the skeletal system and its bodily functions, they are the best physician to diagnose this condition.

Sciatic pain is a localised symptom of an issue with the spinal column, which plays a significant role in the processes of the nervous system. It is highly treatable, especially if diagnosed early, though the effectiveness of treatment will depend on the etiology or cause of the disease. Apart from the usual series of tests and X-rays, CT or MRI scans may be necessary for more severe cases.

Medication
Analgesics and NSAIDs are mainly palliative treatment for sciatic pain, though they are highly prescribed by physicians. They only provide relief for a certain number of hours, making this a more temporary treatment that does not completely remove the root cause of the pain.

Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is a conservative treatment for sciatica pain involving exercise and rehabilitation rather than medication. It’s effectiveness really depends on the root cause, and it can sometimes provide some relief.

Surgery
Surgery is the best treatment for sciatica pain – especially for severe cases (except for pregnancy, unless severe and irreversible). For conditions like a herniated disk and Spondylolisthesis, surgery could be an effective treatment.

Spinal Manipulation
This is an alternative treatment involving adjustment of the spinal column to remove the pressure on the region where sciatic nerves are compressed. This is only good for acute sciatic pain, which is generally spinal disc-related.

To find out about getting sciatica treatment in Melbourne from our expert chiropractors, contact the Rosanna Chiropractic Health Centre today!