Believe it or not, we’re constantly answering questions about chiropractic and how it relates to what we do here at The Back WoRX. But one of the main questions we answer is this: Will a chiropractor help sciatica? However, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you may think.
How is chiropractic different from massage therapy?
Although they don’t perform the same function, there are a lot of crossovers between chiropractic and massage therapy. But first, let’s talk about what chiropractors do and how chiropractic works.
To explain this, I want you to picture a circus tent. Every circus tent has these thick, heavy wires pegged into the ground that keep the tent in place as anchors. Without these anchors, the tent can get blown over and find itself a few dozen blocks from where it was initially set up.
Now, if one of the wires is too tight, there’s no doubt that the tent will be tilted. Once this happens, no amount of pushing at the top will get it to straighten up until you let out some slack right through that tight wire.
So obviously, you need the guy lines (or wires) to be tight or strong enough to help keep your tent rooted and anchored to the ground. However, they’ll need equal tension to keep your entire structure upright and even.
This is precisely how the muscles work. Your hips don’t just fall out of alignment – they’re pulled out of alignment because of tight muscles. A chiropractor’s job is to keep your body in alignment – which works best when no tight muscles exist.
Our bones and joints can move because we have muscles that move them. Not one single bone or joint can move until a muscle moves. So when muscles are too tight, they put a lot of tension on joints which then causes the pain that makes you see a chiropractor.
However, if you are getting adjusted repeatedly and are still experiencing the same issue, the problem lies elsewhere in your body. By getting adjusted several times with no improvement, you’re just treating the symptom. Then where would the problem start? Within the muscles, of course.
Will a chiropractor help sciatica?
If you’ve ever had sciatica, you know how horrible it feels to have excruciating pain shooting down your glutes and legs at any given time. Luckily, this is one of the things a chiropractor can help with.
Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment. When you’ve encountered this type of pain, how many times have you turned to your friends or gone on Google for advice, asking, “What should I do about this?” Will a chiropractor help sciatica?’. Now, while we know that Googling symptoms can lead us down a rabbit hole, sometimes we get good, helpful answers. So, in all honesty, will a chiropractor help sciatica? Well, it depends. A chiropractor can help with sciatica under certain circumstances.
You’ve got a sciatic nerve called a nerve bundle in the lower part of your spine and lower back. If the vertebrae in your lower back are stuck in an awkward position, it starts pinching the sciatic nerve. When you see the chiropractor and get adjusted, the adjustment can free up the stuck vertebrae and relieve the pressure off the nerve – providing immediate relief for sciatica pain.
However, this doesn’t always happen. There are exceptions.
A Case Study
I recently had a patient who was suffering from unbearable sciatica pain. She got on Facebook, asking her community what the best medicine for sciatic pain was and who they recommended to see.
Then, she googled which providers in her area could help and what stretches and exercises would help. She was looking for anything she could do to get relief.
She finally went in to see a chiropractor and said that after her first adjustment, she had instant relief, like a lightbulb came on. And that’s a perfect example of when the pain comes from stuck vertebrae in the spine.
The second time she developed sciatic pain, she returned to that chiropractor and got adjusted, but nothing changed after several adjustments. The chiropractor then suggested she get an appointment with a massage therapist in addition to getting adjusted.
But, in this patient’s case, the combination wasn’t helping. When she came to The Back WoRX, she was frustrated and felt like she was wasting a lot of money. We went through a comprehensive assessment where we reviewed her history, hobbies, habits, and aggravating motions. We soon discovered that transitioning from sitting to standing hurt her the most.
We ruled out her spine as the source of the pain and focused on which muscle groups were involved in sitting and standing. It was then that we discovered her problem. The issue stemmed from a pinch in her glutes and hips. After her first session at The Back WoRX, she felt immediate relief, and we explained that when you loosen up the muscles around the sciatic nerve, the pain disappears.
The solution to her problem was simply a matter of identifying muscle groups involved in what we call the aggravating motion and fixing them.
What we do at The BackWoRX
There’s a whole lot to what we do. But, to put it simply, we reverse engineer pain patterns by combining different techniques. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great things about chiropractic, and I’m a big fan of it because it’s hands-on massage medicine. But, in some cases, it can be unproductive and downright unhelpful. I like to think of these situations like a hose.
If you’re outside watering your flowers, and the water stops coming out, would you just beat the head of the hose, trying to get the water to come out? Or would you look for a kink in the hose?
The same thing happens in your body. Just because you feel pain somewhere doesn’t mean that’s where it started.
That’s why we use The Back WoRX system. The Back WoRX system is our unique, strategic method of looking for where the problem starts. And, when you can find where the problem begins, you can get relief immediately.
So, if you’re having sciatic pain after getting adjusted, even with massages, and still don’t have any relief, come visit us at The Back WoRX.