In most cases sciatica is diagnosed based on the presence of pain in the buttock and leg. However it is important to note that as there are so many potential causes of Sciatica, a thorough case history must be taken and a careful examination including orthopedic and neurological tests must be performed to isolate the cause of pain.
Diagnosis Of Sciatica
Ultimately MRI scanning is the most accurate way to fully diagnose the condition. As the scan allows us to see the actual point where the nerve is caught we can be 100% certain in our diagnosis. This also allows us to direct the treatment in the most efficient manner possible from the very first visit.
At Riverside Chiropractic Clinic we have access private MRI facilities and we can usually arrange any necessary scans within 24 to 48 hours.
Treatment For Sciatica
Once accurate diagnosis has been made, Chiropractic is very effective in the treatment of sciatica. Very specific but gentle movements (called adjustments) are applied to the spinal joints to open up the nerve canals where the nerves are trapped. This helps relieve pressure on the nerve roots allowing pain relief.
However, as this can be a recurrent condition, a huge emphasis is placed on strengthening and rehabilitation of the spine to prevent further episodes of sciatic pain.
Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as Difene and Ibuprofen and painkillers can be helpful for a short period to alleviate the pain of severe sciatica. However, long-term use is not recommended due to potential side-effects. Always consult your medical doctor regarding prescription medication.
In severe cases where conservative measures have not worked, surgery can be tried to cut away part or all of the injured disc. While this method will resolve the problem for some patients, it carries more risks than non surgical options hence surgery is always a last resort.