Sciatica, often described as a pain/tingling/burning/numbing sensation that travels from the low back and/or buttock region down the back of the leg, is an indication or symptom that something is putting undo pressure on your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in your body – about the size of your little finger. It starts in your low back and travels through the buttocks, down the back of your legs to your toes. It carries both sensory impulses (pain, temperature, pressure, etc.) and motor impulses (muscle control).
Sciatica is common and generally responds very well to chiropractic treatment. It is most frequently caused by misaligned vertebrae in the lower back, compressing the “root” of the sciatic nerve. In addition, a muscle in the buttock region called the piriformis muscle can put pressure on the nerve and cause the uncomfortable symptoms to arise.
Less frequent is sciatica that is caused by a disc herniation. A chiropractic physician should always perform a thorough physical examination to determine if a disc herniation may be the cause of the sciatica. Other less common causes of sciatica include arthritis, tumors, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, pregnancy, and sitting on a thick wallet.
Sciatica can be aggravated by poor posture (while driving, sitting, sleeping, etc.) and repetitive stress, such as working on a production line. Sciatica is rarely caused by trauma.
Chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic massage are two of the best forms of treatment for sciatica. Other ways to help and improve your sciatica symptoms are:
1. Eating a healthy diet
2. Maintain a healthy weight
3. Regular exercise
4. Proper posture
5. Avoid prolonged inactivity and/or bed rest
6. Use proper lifting techniques
7. Strengthen your core muscles