What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a practice based on the philosophy that a misalignment of the spinal column and joints can lead to many other health complications because these misalignments affect muscles, nerves and organs. The solution offered by a chiropractor, therefore, involves the manipulation of these misalignments with a view to aligning them and in the process correcting the other complications that resulted from them.
You can learn more about it here.
This procedure is popularly used in the treatment of neck and back pain, whiplash, and personal injuries, headaches and migraines, arthritis pain, disc injuries, TMJ disorders, sciatica, carpal tunnel, sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, shoulder and arm pain, colic, back pain during pregnancy and more.
Of all of the conditions listed, we will be focusing on one – Sciatica.
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What is Sciatica?
This is a word used to differentiate a specific type of pain from other types. This refers to pain that is caused by any form of irritation to the sciatic nerve, a nerve that is largest in the body.
The most common cause of sciatica is the compression of this nerve in the lower spine. This nerve stretches from the waist region and through the buttocks down to the legs where it then ends a little lower than the knee.
Because of the wide area, this nerve runs through, it controls a number of muscles, making any problem with it easily felt. Sciatica in itself is not a disease or a condition. It is merely an indication that there is something wrong somewhere with the sciatic nerve.
You can read more about sciatica HERE
Can Chiropractic be used to Treat Sciatica?
We have already stated that sciatica is not in itself a condition but rather an indication of something wrong somewhere with the sciatic nerve. What this means is that it does not necessarily require any treatment. What needs to be done is to identify the root problems and fix that. Once that is fixed, the pain that resulted from it would disappear.
From our description of what Chiropractic is, manipulating the musculoskeletal structure of a patient such that proper alignment and balance is achieved will most likely relieve any compression or irritation at any point along the sciatic nerve. We shall, however, rely on scientific research to show if indeed this procedure is an effective solution for sciatica.
Gert Bronfort, a researcher with the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and some colleagues conducted a study to determine among other things the effectiveness of chiropractic in the treatment of back-related leg pain, such as sciatica.
The result of the study provides evidence to support the effectiveness of this procedure. You can read the full report here.
Choosing a Chiropractor
If you’ve decided to turn to a chiropractor for relief from sciatica and other types of pain, then you need to know how to pick out one that will offer you the best care. There are a few important things you will need to consider while making your choice. We will briefly look at these.
Reputation and Referral
The very first thing you should do is ask your friends and family members if they know any chiropractors that they can recommend. This is always a good starting point. Getting a referral from a friend or family member who has had a personal experience with a practitioner is very valuable and can save you a lot of stress.
Do Some Digging
If you happen to have a number of recommendations, then you will need to do some digging to find out more about each recommendation. This will usually include visiting the facility’s website, checking the website of your state’s licensing board etc.
Many facilities will provide ample information on the practitioner(s) on their website. If for example, you were to visit the website of Healing Hands Chiropractic, you will find a lot of information on the two chiropractors who provide the service there. You can look at their credentials, experience, run whatever checks you may want to run and be able to decide your next move.
What Does Your Insurance Cover?
This is something you may even want to consider before trying to choose a chiropractor to work with. Does your health insurance cover this type of care or the practitioner? Be sure to find out so you can know exactly what you are getting into. If you find a great practitioner outside of your cover, you may want to work outside of your network.
Talk to the Facility
Sometimes, hearing a person can help you gauge their personality. It is important that anyone you choose is someone you can really be comfortable with. In some cases, you may be more comfortable with a practitioner of a particular sex. These are all decisions you will have to make by yourself after ascertaining that the individual is a fully qualified chiropractor.
Chiropractic has been proven over and over to be effective in the treatment of various types of pain. To see a visual example of a simple procedure, you can watch this.