Ask the Chiropractor- Should Chiropractic care be my first choice for sciatica care? Chiropractors are highly educated in finding the cause and having treatment options for sciatica. There is no need to go somewhere else first. Besides that you will learn how chiropractic care can help in many more ways. #healthy815 #icachiropractor #palmerproud
- Hi, Dr. Brant Hulsebus here. Welcome to another edition of "Ask the Chiropractor." On "Ask the Chiropractor," it's our little podcast where we talk about, if you have a question about chiropractic, the most beneficial person to ask would be a chiropractor, 'cause we are the only ones with an education and degree in chiropractic. Asking other people, they didn't really study chiropractic or know chiropractic. So, where a lotta people might ask their family doctor before going to a chiropractor, I'm just here to tell you that most, almost every family doctor has no education what chiropractors do or don't do. Think about it like your teeth. When you have a question about your teeth, do you go ask your family doctor or do you find a dentist that you trust and respect and ask the dentist? So the point of this podcast is for people who have a question about chiropractic, they can email us, direct message us, or call us, and we'll be happy to answer your question. So today's question on "Ask the Chiropractor," a question about chiropractic for a chiropractor would be sciatica. What is sciatica? Can chiropractors help? What does it take to be a chiropractic patient? And how does chiropractic work with sciatica? So let's talk about what sciatica is first. The sciatic nerve is a big nerve that goes down your leg. It starts in your back side, down your rear end on the back of your leg to your knee and everywhere from the knee down does the sciatic nerve. Now, the front of your leg, the thigh's a different nerve and your groin's a different nerve. But basically everywhere else waist down is the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the widest nerve in the body. It's about as wide as your thumb in some places. And it starts in your lower back and travels down through your pelvis, down in your leg. Now, why is that important? Well, it starts from your bottom vertebraes. And if your bottom vertebraes are misaligned, or as chiropractors call 'em, subluxated, that creates stress. Now that stress will hit that nerve and go down that nerve, and stress travels as it goes down that nerve, 'causing the sciatic to flare up, hence the name sciatica, irritation of the sciatic nerve. So that lower back is misaligned. That's what we see. Now, the next thing or something else that could happen is your pelvis can rotate. Now, when my pelvis or my hips rotate, what happens is, they go one direction, but my tailbone doesn't wanna go. Well, there's a muscle that connects your tailbone to your hip called the piriformis muscle. And what happens is, as the hips rotate or twist and turn, the sacrum, the tailbone stays in place and this muscle gets pulled and stretched and irritated. And a muscle that's pulled and stretched and irritated gets sticky. And that sticky muscle's right there and the sciatic nerve is going above it, some of us, below it, if you're really unlucky, through it. And that muscle gets all inflamed and irritated and grabs that nerve and mimics sciatica from the lower back but in the pelvis, and it goes down that nerve down your leg, hence you have another form of sciatica. So as chiropractors, we're trained to look at this, see the cause of your sciatica, which one of these different areas is involved. Now, how do we tell this? Well, we can do it by a chiropractic exam and a chiropractic X-ray. Those of you who have listened to my podcast before know that I would never visit a chiropractor who does not X-ray. Now, the exception would be, obviously, if you were pregnant or something like that. But 95% of the time, the chiropractor should take X-rays. If the chiropractor didn't take X-rays, we've seen it here a million times before where somebody can get really badly injured or hurt or misdiagnosed without knowing. So, I have my X-rays taken, I have my exam done. Now can I go to the medical doctor first, have the medical doctor look at me, diagnose me with sciatica? Well, if that medical doctor took X-rays of you, those X-rays can be used at the chiropractic clinic also, provided you were standing up during the X-rays. I've had some medical doctors tell my patients that they don't have to be standing up for the X-rays. The chiropractor doesn't need you to stand. Let the chiropractor decide what the chiropractor needs. The medical doctor doesn't know. The chiropractor has to have the X-rays standing up. We're trying to evaluate you in the standing position. We can't do that if you're not standing. So the chiropractor will look at the X-rays. Now, let me talk about when the chiropractor looks at your X-rays versus a family doctor looking at your X-rays. A lot of what we do is the same. We're looking for, you know, tumors, we're looking for fractures, we're looking for pathologies and stuff like that. That's the same. I mean, that's, we have the same education on that. They study that and we study that, even Steven there. The difference is, when we look at your X-rays, we're looking at the alignment to see what the bones are rotated, turned, or twisted. That is difference in your education. Now I'm not saying they couldn't figure it out. I'm just telling you that's not what they're educated for, but that's one of our main focuses of our education that we really look at intensely. One time I got an X-ray report from a family physician where they described the scoliosis in the spine, where the spine makes an S-shape, they talked about how it's 28 degrees to the left, you know, 27 degrees to the right, and then they said the spine was in normal alignment. Not sure they know what that word means, normal alignment, 'cause if you have a scoliosis, that's by definition a scoliotic misalignment of the spine. I mean, it's in the word itself, so. When I read that out loud to the patient, even the patient laughed pretty hard thinking, "Well, that doesn't make any sense. How could you have a scoliosis and nothing's misaligned?" So, I don't know how they use the word. Maybe there's a different definition that I don't know. But yeah, let the chiropractor decide if you're misaligned or not. I would never, ever, ever go by a medical radiologist. Matter of fact, in chiropractic, we have our own radiologists, probably for this reason. Let the chiropractor look at your X-rays. But if you're standing up when the X-rays are taken, it doesn't matter where they were taken. We have our own X-ray machine here. Again, I wouldn't go to a chiropractor that doesn't X-ray. But we accept X-rays from other places. So let's look at it, give us the opinion of whether or not you have sciatica from your spine. Next, after we evaluate the X-rays, we're gonna look at things and we're gonna start coming up with a care plan. Now, you can assume that you're gonna come in probably two to three times a week or maybe more, four or five times a week. That's where the doctoring part of doctor of chiropractic kicks in. We have to look at your overall health of your spine, your overall health. Do you have healthy discs, do you have bad discs? Do you have a rotation and a bend or do you have just a bend or just a rotation? Are there multiple levels involved? Is it just the one spot? Your overall health of you too, your mental, physical, chemical health, where do you sit in that spectrum? So once we kinda look at those things, a good chiropractor then will give you a care plan, a recommendation of care, like I think I should see you daily the first week, three times a week for two weeks, twice a week for, I don't know. It's gonna be different for everybody, so don't go telling that's what I said. It's gonna be different for everybody. After that, you should have some reevaluations and some determinations of goals in your care along the way. Along the way, also, we usually implement exercises and stretches, like homework for you to work on home for yourself to make yourself better along the way. So talk to the chiropractor about, "What can I do better at home to make this speed up and go away to complement the chiropractic care?" In extreme cases, we'll call in a physical therapist to work with us, if it's been there for two or three years because you just didn't wanna to to the chiropractor. You might have some muscle atrophy where you lost some of your muscle tone. So we'll work with a physical therapist to get that back faster, 'cause you wanna get better faster too and we wanna help you get better faster. And then we start slowing down the visits. So as you heal, the visit frequency slows down. I've had some people come to the chiropractor three times a week for two to three years. That's not slowing down. That's a reason to look for somebody else. Unless, you know, there's more, the chiropractor tells you there's more. Usually you slow down. So, "When should I start to feel? How do I know it's working? How do I know the chiropractor's helping me?" Well, one, every time you get adjusted, it should feel better and better every time you get adjusted. It starts to feel looser and looser and better and better. You, yourself should start to notice you can bend and twist and move around better. You should feel more at ease. That's a word we use, ease. You should feel more at ease. The next thing you should start to experience is, besides being able to like maybe put your socks back on again, if the floor gets closer 'cause you can bend better. Well, once that starts to happen, then the nerve starts to heal. So, usually, the misalignment, when we cut the subluxation, improves, and then the nerve heals. And as the nerve starts to heal, you start to feel your leg and the sciatic pain go away. Again, this is different for everybody. We take care of professional hockey players here, and we take care of people that have, you know, the only time they sweat is when they get off the couch. Those two people are gonna heal at much different rates. Your chiropractor will give you an idea on that. So, last thing to usually show up in the sciatic case is pins and needles or numbness. And conversely, the last thing to go away is usually the numbness. But your chiropractor can talk to you about all of those things. I hope I answered the question about chiropractic care of sciatica and how it works and what a timetable looks like and recovery time looks like. If you have a question about chiropractic, ask a chiropractor. I hope I stressed that enough today. So, if you wanna reach out to us, go to our website, rockforddc.com, R-O-C-K-F-O-R-D-D-C.com. Leave us a message or hit contact us on the website. You can also see other videos like this I've done. So if you wanna see more or hear more, go there. You can find all the old ones. We have a search you can look up different things. And again, if you have a question, shoot it our way. Maybe next time you'll be the question of the week. Thank you.