The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. The sciatic nerve exits the lumbar spine down into the buttock, then branches into smaller nerves as it travels down the legs into the feet. It provides feeling to your thighs, legs, and feet and controls many of the muscles in your lower legs. Sciatica is very specific nerve problem that involves radiating pain from the lumbar spine (low back) to your buttock and down the back of the leg. Sciatic nerve pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation. Sciatic pain often starts gradually and intensifies over time. It is more likely to be worse when one sits, coughs or sneezes due to the increase in intradiscal pressure.
Sciatic nerve pain usually indicates that there is a problem in the lower lumbar spine and it is often a more severe condition than uncomplicated low back pain.
The main causes of sciatica are:
Subluxations (misalignments) in the spine due to postural issues, pregnancy, or trauma.
Herniation or bulge of one of the discs in the lower back, usually L5/S1. The bulging disc compresses the nerve root exiting from the low back.
Disc degeneration which causes the disc to narrow, compressing the nerve root exiting from the low back.
Piriformis Syndrome: a spasm or contracture of the piriformis muscle in the buttock which can put pressure directly on the nerve which travels below it.
The majority of the time, sciatic pain can be relieved with specific chiropractic adjustments to restore proper spinal alignment and function. If there is lumbar disc involvement, we usually use the Cox Flexion/Distraction Technique which allows decompression of the disc by creating a negative vacuum effect, helping suck the protruding disc back into its proper place. Click here to see a video demonstrating this technique:
How Can We Help?
At Chiropractic Arts Center of Austin, P.C., our approach is very specific and effective. We will begin with a detailed consultation, examination, and x-rays (except in inappropriate situations) to determine the cause of your sciatic nerve pain. We would also rule out any conditions which would not be appropriate for care in our office and direct you to the appropriate type of provider if necessary. We want to know what your goals are and what you would like to do that you are currently missing out on. With the information we find upon your visit, combined with your goals, we will create a customized care plan to correct the problem and help return to optimum health and function. Our primary concern is to help you return to a healthy life as quickly as possible.
Are you ready to see if chiropractic can help you? Contact Us for more information or Request An Appointment today! You are worth it!