The sciatic nerve is created by the gathering of nerves that extend from the spinal cord down through the pelvic bones. The sciatic nerve branches out and carries the information to move and feel you leg and foot from hip to toes. The sciatic nerve helps you run for the bus and wiggle your toes in the sand.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the largest and longest nerve in your body. Burning pain in the low back, hips and legs are common symptoms of sciatica. Many of my patients have been told they have sciatica by their doctor if they have pain in the buttocks or into the leg whether it goes a little way or all the way to the foot. It can feel more like a numbness or tingling as well. Low back pain is not always part of sciatica, but it often comes with it. Usually, sciatica affects only one side. Pain often radiates down the buttock or leg and can range from tingling, burning, pins-and-needles feeling to excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing up nearly impossible. Often, coughing, sneezing and sitting makes the pain worse
What Causes Sciatica or Leg Pain?
Sciatica can frequently be caused by dysfunction of the joints of the spinal bones it the low back or pelvis. These areas of disfunction can cause inflammation, irritation swelling pressure on the nerves that make up the sciatic nerve. Sometimes it is a disc injury that irritates the nerves. It could be a muscle like the piriformis muscle or what is called but often overlooked, piriformis syndrome that is irritating the sciatic nerve causing sciatica like symptoms. If the dysfunction is left uncorrected degeneration can begin to occur.
What Can I Do For My Sciatica?
In the past, long periods of bed rest were commonly prescribed for sciatic pain and discomfort. Recent studies have confirmed that length bed rest is a waste of time and may interfere with healing. Another common prescription, epidural injections, does not help patients suffering from sciatica either. Researchers in Germany did a six-month study that was published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. These researchers found that spinal corticosteroid injections do not help patients with sciatica improve any faster than those not given such injections. There are many articles that discuss research that find the same thing.
What Is The Correct Procedure?
What does seem to be the correct prescription is conservative chiropractic adjustments to get the dysfunctional joints working properly. According to the United States Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) guidelines, “relief of discomfort can be accomplished most safely” with chiropractic adjustments. In the UK the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agrees that there is enough evidence that chiropractors can help with sciatica that they started letting chiropractors advertise that fact in 2017.
Chiropractic care (sometimes coupled with simple exercises) can normalize the joint mobility and reduce the reason that your nerve is getting inflamed in the first place. In my office I use a combination of chiropractic adjustments, muscle work photobiomodulation therapy (cold laser) as well as other specific things ( I can’t give all my secrets away but I offer Advanced Treatment for Pain) in order to help reduce my patients pain and inflammation and get their function back so they have the health to lead the life they had before their sciatica started up.
Sciatica is a horrible experience. Regardless of what you may have been told in the past, you may get rid of it. You may not have to “live with it” as you’ve heard. Correction of the cause of sciatica may be as close as a call to my office. I would be happy to do my part in the restoration of your health and the elimination of the biomechanical dysfunctions that have been interfering with it.