How is a Laser Used for Sciatica Pain Treatment?

Health Care

If you suffer from sciatica, you’ve probably researched solutions for sciatica pain treatment to help alleviate your symptoms. Sciatica is a very painful condition, prompting radiating pain, burning, and numbness down into the foot and leg.

Unfortunately, there is no pill that can cure sciatica, but there are many methods that can help alleviate symptoms, especially with the help and guidance of a chiropractor. Laser is one of the newest techniques being developed to help manage pain and inflammation associated with sciatica.

Causes of sciatica
The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body. It runs from the lumbar spine, or lower back, down into each leg. Sciatica occurs when pressure is put onto the sciatic nerve in the spine, causing it to become pinched or inflamed. Usually, this pressure is caused by herniated or degenerated disc, which can be spurred by a number of issues including degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.

Other causes include nerve entrapment caused by nearby muscles which may be shifted as a result of trauma or injury, such as a car accident. The inflammation of the sciatic nerve can also cause the muscles surrounding it to spasm and become inflamed, causing further discomfort and painful symptoms.

Symptoms of sciatica
Most sufferers of sciatica report an aching sensation that can be present in the buttocks, hips, thighs, calves, or ankles. Sciatica usually only presents on one side of the body; rarely does it occur on both sides.

In severe cases, the aching can rise to a sharp burning sensation, or even what feels like an electrical shock. Others can experience numbness or weakness and trouble with being able to move the leg. Another symptom is what is described as a leg cramp with associated pain, numbness, or electrical sensations.

These symptoms can become aggravated after prolonged periods of sitting or standing, and the pain from sciatica can significantly limit or impede the patient’s movements and quality of life.

Treatments for sciatica
While surgery is an option for repairing damaged or degenerated discs, it’s often not a desirable course of treatment because it is so invasive, and the results aren’t always guaranteed. Some patients experience no improvement to their symptoms after surgery, and some patients experience a worsening of their condition.

Non-invasive chiropractic care is one of the most popular treatments for sciatica pain relief. Careful manipulation of the spine can move discs back into place and strengthen the muscles that surround the spine and sciatic nerve. Stretches and exercises designed by your chiropractor can help continue to strengthen the muscles around the spine to help keep the discs from slipping again.

Other non-invasive treatment options are being used in conjunction with chiropractic care to help reduce inflammation of the sciatic nerve and surrounding muscles. Electric muscle stimulation is one way in which chiropractors help reduce inflammation and stimulate healing to muscle groups. Acupuncture and massage are also options which help reduce swelling and promote healing to injured areas of the spine.

Benefits of laser therapy
A promising development in recent years for pain treatment and management is cold laser therapy. A specially-trained technologist uses a handheld laser and directs it towards the affected area for 5-10 minutes, depending on the severity of the injury or pain. Low levels of laser energy are emitted into the muscle group and area of pain in a series of treatments over a few weeks. Most patients feel a reduction of swelling, inflammation, and pain after just 1 or 2 sessions, with total relief from their pain in 8-10 sessions.

Cold laser therapy is non-invasive and has been scientifically proven to increase blood flow and regenerate injured nerves and muscle tissue in the affected area. While other methods, such as electric muscle stimulation, also improve blood flow and promote healing to an injured muscle group, laser therapy can sometimes be more effective and work more quickly than EMS treatments.

Final thoughts
This non-invasive cold laser therapy procedure is an excellent way to manage the symptoms of sciatica and stimulate overall healing to the sciatic nerve and surrounding muscles. Laser therapy is an excellent alternative for sciatica pain treatment that can get patients back on their feet and enjoying their lives again much more quickly than other treatment methods.