When the sciatic nerve experiences irritation, it results in sciatica. Most commonly, a tingling sensation or pain passes through the pelvis and buttock structures or through the joints of the back. Causes for this condition can be due to infections, tumors, bony growths, spinal canal stenosis, degenerative disc diseases, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, piriformis syndrome, spondylolisthesis, lumbar disc prolapse, or injury to the discs between the bones of your back.
The resulting muscle imbalance or pain can end up causing dysfunctional muscles. The precise cause of one’s sciatica will likely determine how it is treated. In many cases, doctors and patients alike have found joint manipulation to be a beneficial method of treatment.
What Exactly is Joint Manipulation?
Joint manipulation is a type of mobilization, but in an advanced form. It is a technique that requires a certain level of skill and involves thrust or the small, sudden movements executed at what would normally be the end of a joint’s range. This technique is used in order to restore motion. Depending on the severity of one’s sciatica, or (as mentioned previously) the specific cause of this condition, joint manipulation alone may not be enough.
It will not entirely treat sciatica and should be accompanied by other treatments and complementary techniques such as therapeutic exercises like ergonomics training. Sufferers will benefit greatly from a physical therapist rather than a chiropractor in the treatment of sciatica through joint manipulation because physical therapists treat more than just the joint.
Joint Manipulation Helps Treat Sciatica
One must first be evaluated in order to determine whether or not they will benefit from or tolerate joint manipulation. This kind of treatment is not ideal for every sufferer. Manipulation is a manual therapy technique applied to the affected area in order to improve function, facilitate movement, increase R0M (range of motion), and reduce pain in joint structures and soft tissue. Joint manipulation is sometimes referred to as “cracking the joint”.
This is solely based on the sound that this procedure can produce. Is not in any way, shape, or form medically or scientifically accurate. The procedure is also referred to occasionally as “adjustments”. Chiropractors in particular, and their patients use these terms freely. Joint manipulation does not refer to “putting something back in”.
Additional Therapies Used to Treat Sciatica
Much research has been done on sciatica and possible treatments. Physical therapists can use any of the following in addition to or in place of joint manipulation: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS, posture and support exercises, topical analgesics, prescription injections or medications, over-the-counter medications, ice and/or heat, stretching, core stability, biochemical assessments, postural correction and pelvic and spinal realignment, acupuncture, mobilization, manipulation, and massage.
Sports chiropractic professionals will combine treatments in order to prevent further problems, restore function, and basically address the relief of pain and discomfort associated with sciatica. Promoting strength and flexibility through home exercise programs are another effective way for sciatica sufferers to treat their condition.