Sciatica Treatment in Decatur GA
Getting Effective Sciatica Treatment in Decatur GA By Dr. Craig Castanet
Discover the ultimate solution for sciatica treatment in Decatur, GA, with the expertise of Dr. Craig Castanet – the leading professional chiropractor in this area. With a 35+ years experience, Dr. Castanet is committed to providing effective relief from sciatic nerve discomfort. His personalized approach and advanced techniques set him apart as the go-to a best chiropractor in Decatur, GA. If you’re seeking lasting relief of pain Dr. Craig Castanet offers the finest chiropractic treatment for your sciatica-related pains.
What is Sciatica? Dr. Craig Castanet Explains
Sciatica is pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It is a peripheral nerve that is made up of 5 different nerve roots that exit your low back and sacral area- the L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3 nerve roots. These 5 nerve roots exit your lower back area and sacral area, and then combine, to become your sacral nerves- one in each leg.
After they combine to form the sciatic nerve, the nerve descends down the leg and splits into many smaller branches of nerves that will innervate all the tissues of the leg to provide all the nerve functions in your buttocks, thighs, legs, and feet. These functions include sensation, reflexes, and motor functions. Sciatica is pain anywhere in your buttock, thigh, leg, or foot, that is caused by irritation of the nerve.
What Are Its Common Symptoms?
The common symptom of sciatica is pain. But you may also feel numbness and tingling. And, less commonly, you can have weakness of any of the muscles that are in your buttock, thigh, leg, or foot. The pain can “move around”, which is how some patients describe their pain. Just about any description of sciatica is possible. I have had pain describe dripping water sensation, buzzing, tingling, numbness, sharp pain, shooting pain, weakness, and more. But the most common complaint is pain that goes down your buttock, and down the back of your thigh, and the back and outside of your leg, and the outside or bottom of your foot.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve, and the most common cause is a spinal disc bulge or herniation that pinches one of the contributing nerve roots in your low back or sacral area. Other common causes are spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis. And rare causes are tumors, infections, cancer, and fractures.
Other causes of pain in the buttock are sacroiliac joint and piriformis muscle problems, but these are less common, and doctors don’t always agree about their prevalence. Disc herniations and bulges account for more than 90% of the causes of sciatica.
Due to the anatomy of the spine, the specific discs that cause sciatica are the three at the bottom of the low back, called the L3-4, L4-5 and the L5-S1 discs. And the nerves they typically pinch are the L4, L5, and S1 nerve roots. These three nerves travel down the back of your buttock, and thigh, and also down the front, back, and outside of your lower leg.
Can a Chiropractor Help With Sciatica?
Yes, I certainly can. I treat this problem all day long, every day, since 1987. It is critical to understand that when you have sciatica caused by a disc herniation, only one thing will help you to improve. You must get the disc off of the nerve root. That must be done, and it is the only thing that must be done. Any treatment must be directed at doing that one thing, or the treatment will not help, and it cannot help. Any other treatment is irrelevant to the problem.
There are several other things that a provider can do to try to help with the pain, but only as an adjunct to the primary objective, not in lieu of this objective.
When the disc is pinching your sciatic nerve, the nerve will become inflamed, and inflammation causes pain. A provider can also try to reduce the inflammation, such as with medications or injections, but the disc must be moved off of the nerve root. Sometimes the problem will get better with time and rest, but other times the pain will persist for months or years.
Some chiropractors will adjust your spine to try to help, but sometimes that will make the pain worse. Instead, I use a very sophisticated, highly-engineered treatment table, called spinal decompression, which is designed to get your disc off of your nerve, thereby reducing the inflammation naturally, and resolving your pain, naturally. Having worked in orthopedics, physical medicine, physical therapy and neurosurgical clinics, I can say that spinal decompression treatment is the most effective treatment I have used since 1987. So, yes, I can usually help, and resolve, your sciatica pain.
Why You Should See a Chiropractor for Sciatica Pain if You Live in Decatur Ga?
There a very few chiropractors in Georgia with the medical experience of Dr. Castanet. That makes a difference in terms of competency in diagnosis, and experienced judgement in evaluation, treatment and referral. Having spent 18 years in orthopedics, physical medicine and physical therapy, as well as 5 years in a neurosurgical clinic, Dr. Castanet has participated in the treatment of more than 40,000 patients. Also, because of this experience, he can explain all manner of things about spinal problems, and surgery that most chiropractors cannot. So if you’re anywhere near DeKalb County of Decatur, Ga suffering from sciatica, you should come see Dr. Castanet for evaluation and treatment.
Backstrong Non-Surgical Rehab Clinic Founder Dr. Craig Castanet- What Techniques Are Used for Sciatica Treatment?
I have practiced since 1987, participating in the treatment of more than 40,000 patients. This includes orthopedics, physical medicine, physical therapy and neurosurgical clinics. After all that time, using a wide variety of treatments for sciatica, I can tell you that the most effective, non-surgical treatment I have used in spinal decompression treatment. It is vastly more effective for sciatic treatment than anything I else I have used, and it is my default treatment for sciatica.
Occasionally, I use adjunctive treatments but they are not usually necessary, and I don’t like you waste time and money on unnecessary treatments. Further, reducing the variables during the course of treatment is important to the accurate and valid assessment of treatment efficacy. And I want the patient to know exactly what is helping, or not helping them get better.
How Does Dr. Craig Castanet Diagnose Sciatica and Determine a Sciatica Treatment Plan?
Sciatica is defined as pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve. That means pain that goes into your buttock, and down the back of your thigh or leg. It can also go down the front of your lower leg, and into your foot. So the distribution of your pain is the first criterion. The usual provocative factors are sitting and bending, but this is variable.
As with all diagnoses, this depends upon consideration of all the available information. This can include your history, physical examination, diagnostic imaging, and more.
The treatment plan varies, depending on lots of variables. This can include the severity of your pain, the signs present, your work and home schedules, distance from home or work, how quickly you want to improve, and more.
A common recommended treatment plan would be 2-3 times per week for the first week or two, until you improve significantly, and then a reduction in treatment frequency, enough to maintain progressive improvement, until it resolves. Every treatment plan is jointly decided, in accordance with your needs and wishes.
How Many Chiropractic Sessions Might Be Needed to Experience Resolution of Sciatica Symptoms?
A small percentage of patients with sciatica will resolve in 1-5 treatments. More typical numbers are 8-15 treatments. This is the majority of patients. And a small number of patients will need 20-30 treatments to resovle their problem. Keep in mind that patients who need this many treatments, are improving regularly. They simply are improving at a slower rate that others. This can be for a variety of reasons, including reasons we don’t understand. But some reasons may be the physical demands of their jobs, the size of their disc herniations, the amount of degenerative changes they have in their spines, their fitness, strength and nutritional status, and more.
What is the Success Rate of Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica?
Success rates vary with the type of chiropractic treatment given. I use a method called spinal decompression treatment. This is, essentially, very sophisticated traction treatment, using a better-engineered table than yesteryear’s old type of traction. But the concept is the same, and it remains the best way to effectively treat sciatica without surgery.
Using this method of treatment I would estimate the success rate for treating sciatica to be 80-90%, defined as resolving or improving the pain to be sufficient that the patient seeks no further treatment for this episode. About 2% of patients wil need surgery, and about 5% of patients will need injections. That leaves a small percentage of patients who don’t find much help for their sciatica pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fix is not the best word, here. But I understand what is meant by the question. The answer to this varies widely. I have had patients that needed just one treatment, but that is very rare. The average number of treatments to resolve a sciatica problem is between 6-15 treatments, done over the course of 3-8 weeks. Sometimes treatment may be 20-30 treatments, but this is also very uncommon.
But let’s address this matter of “fixing” a sciatic nerve. The usual reason that sciatica occurs is that a patient has a herniated disc that is pinching one of the five nerve roots that comprise the sciatic nerve. The nerve root that gets compressed can be any one from L4, L5, S1, S2, or S3. But usually it is the L5 or S1 nerve roots, and these exist in the lowermost back. When any of them is pinched, the nerve will become inflamed and cause pain in your buttock, thigh, leg, foot or some combination of these. In fact, usually the back is not painful. This can mislead patients and even healthcare professionals who may think you have a sacroiliac problem, piriformis problem, or some other cause.
The essential thing to do to get better is to get the pressure off of the nerve root. This typically takes days to weeks with effective treatment. With ineffective treatment, the pain can persist for months to years.
With spinal decompression treatment, resolving the symptoms usually takes from two to ten weeks, depending upon the severity.
I don’t use chiropractic adjustments for sciatica treatment. Sometimes chiropractic adjustments will exacerbate and aggravate sciatica pain, especially the twisting type of chiropractic adjustments. These types of adjustments can sometimes help with sciatica, but I prefer to use a safer, more effective method of treatment, called spinal decompression treatment.
Patients with sciatica should be mindful of one, rare potential complication from sciatica pain. This is called cauda equina syndrome. This is a rare complication, usually from a very large disc herniation that puts too much pressure on your sacral nerves roots to your bladder and bowel. This does not usually happen from any kind of treatment, but is just a severe variant of a disc herniation.
If you experience any loss of bowel or bladder function, or you cannot urinate or defecate, you must go the a hospital emergency department, immediately, to get surgery, to remove the disc from your nerves, or you can lose these functions permanently.
Not with treatment, in my opinion. But your chiropractor can probably advise you about how to reduce your risks for sciatica. This can include the common recommendations for any problem, e.g. get fit, lose fat, eat well. More specifically, you can increase your spinal strength, and, if done safely, this will reduce your risk for sciatica.
Also, you should be taught about the activity and postural risk factors for sciatica. This includes optimizing your sitting posture with good chairs, taking breaks from prolonged sitting, and managing the duration of any activity that flexes your low back. Note, that these are all self-managing, preventive strategies that have nothing to do with actual treatment.
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Patient Reviews Of Sciatica Treatment
Thank you Dr. Castanet for helping me through this painful time. It was refreshing to here a realistic assessment of my condition. Your pragmatic approach to treatment resulted in significant improvements to my health. I was fortunate to find your sciatica treatment process before I opted for surgical relief.
By the time I found Dr. Castanet I felt hopeless – basically handicapped, in constant pain, unable to stand up, etc. Over my appointments with Dr. Castanet, he explained what happens with back injuries and the associated sciatica/neuropathy, and what all the eventual options/outcomes are. His treatment is conservative and logical which is an appropriate first step. For me though, these conservative steps weren’t enough. Here’s why I would still tell ANYONE with back pain to see him: You need to start conservatively, his treatment has a good track record, Dr. Castanet knows when conservative steps aren’t sufficient, and he knows where to send you next, nor is he ashamed to do so. More medical professionals need this attitude. In my research, it became apparent that most Chiropractic treatment is cult-like and all-or-nothing in its method, maybe even adversarial with other specialties such as orthopedists or neurosurgeons; this is not the case with Dr. Castanet. He is a part of a community I now know exists of dedicated back pain specialists in the area. His advice and guidance are what kept me sane, and got me along the correct path to my eventual solution. As he said to me: “Let’s get your life back.” I am confident that had I not found Dr. Castanet, I wouldn’t have had the eventual outcome I did, or gotten my life back. He cares; he knows what’s going on and isn’t confined to his silo. He will either help you or guide you where you need to go next – either of which is priceless. Go get your life back.
Dr. Castanet quickly and accurately diagnosed the source of my sciatica and within three visits my pain has almost completely disappeared. I will continue to see him if I need in the future, and I highly recommend him as someone who is extremely knowledgeable and capable in this area.