Sciatica. Shooting pain down your leg. You have heard of it, and the word tends to cause some fear or anxiety. So often we have patients with radiating pain from their low back or butt, and they are afraid they are destined for surgery. Most often, they don’t need surgery; chiropractic and other conservative care can fully address the pain and radiation.
What is true Sciatica?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.”
Causes of sciatica include
- herniated discs (most common)
- bone spurs
- spinal stenosis
- abnormalities in the lumbar vertebrae
Sciatic Nerve Pain that isn’t Sciatica
The sciatic nerve can get trapped in other locations, and impingement and nerve irritation can lead to radiating pain, numbness or tingling that isn’t technically sciatica. The most common spot is where the sciatic nerve pierces the piriformis muscle (causing Piriformis Syndrome). Other areas of entrapment are other hip rotators (such as gemellus superior), between the hamstrings, and on top of adductor magnus deep in the back of your thigh.
Chiropractic Care for Sciatic Nerve Pain
Adjusting the low back and pelvis can help greatly with the nerve root impingement that causes sciatica. Addressing the muscles and fascia using Active Release Techniques and other muscle work can free up the sciatic nerve as it travels down the leg. We also look at your posture and movement patterns to find out what caused the irritation and give you exercises and stretches so you can avoid having it occur again.
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