Sciatica refers to pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. It’s very important to have a full neurological examination and x-rays (if clinically justified) to determine the exact cause of the sciatic nerve pain.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica refers to pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. If you think you may be suffering from sciatica, it’s very important to have a full neurological examination and x-rays (if clinically justified) to determine the exact cause of the sciatic nerve pain.
Here, we go into the common symptoms and causes as well as potential treatment for sciatica. But, if you’re suffering, why not get in touch for a free consultation? We also provide treatment for a whole host of pain including those caused by sports injuries.
Common causes of sciatica?
One of the biggest in the body, the sciatic nerve runs from the lower part of the spine, through the buttock muscles and down the back of the leg to the sole of the foot. Sciatica is where the nerve is trapped by something in the low back or further down in the buttock. It can also be caused by pressure on the nerve root from a disc in the lower back as a result of:
- Poor posture
- Sedentary positions
This wears the discs causing them to bulge or, in more serious cases, prolapse (slipped disc) and herniated discs. The disc then presses on the sciatic nerve and can be extremely painful and debilitating. As the sciatic nerve passes through the buttock muscle (piriformis muscle), this can become inflamed and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
After a thorough medical examination, the cause of the pain will be determined and we will diagnose the problem. Following this, a treatment plan will be confirmed and techniques will be highlighted to reduce pain.
How do i know if I have Sciatica?
Sciatica pain varies from a shooting pain, pins and needles, numbness or searing pain and can be experienced by:
A pain in the top of the buttock, in the back of the thigh or the whole way down the back of the leg
- Single leg pain
- Numbness in the leg or sole of the foot
- Weakness in the leg, ankle or big toe
- Lower back pain
- Muscle spasm
- Pain when using the toilet or coughing
A limp due to the nerve not supplying the muscles properly causing patients to drag their foot or not being able to climb stairs
Treatment for Sciatica?
Usually patients find there will be one position that gives the most pain relief. Many say that sitting is worse than standing. Others feel that standing up causes the pain in the leg to worsen. Other remedies include:
- Ice or heat on the affected area
- Hot baths
However if you are still struggling with sciatica pain, we suggest treatment from a trained healthcare professional such as a Chiropractor.
How does chiropractic care help sciatica?
If you’re suffering from sciatica, you’ll be pleased to know that there are solutions. For clients with sciatica, we use specific spinal adjustments. The adjustments relieve pressure on the nerve from the disc, joint or muscle. This can promote ease of movement, proper balance and walking. Massage therapy can also reduce inflammation around the nerve, and cold therapy around the lower back will also reduce inflammation.
Each case is different and some patients take longer than others to heal. Your Chiropractor will be able to advise you on a likely prognosis and what to expect. They will also prescribe you preventative sciatica exercises to relieve pressure on the nerve. We advise that you do these at home to promote recovery.