Chiropractic care, which includes a combination of joint and vertebral adjustments, is successfully used for sciatica pain management and prevention. Chiropractic care helps to decrease the frequency and duration of sciatica pain.
Sciatica describes persistent pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and into the lower leg and foot. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body. It controls the muscles of the lower leg and provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet.
Most often, it tends to develop because of general wear and tears on the structures of the lower spine, not necessarily as a result of an injury, but can be caused by lifting, bending, coughing, falling or motor vehicle accidents (or any trauma). Numerous patients have no idea what caused their sciatica. The pathophysiology of sciatica can be found in the lower lumbar spine; this is where we find the discs.
The most common causes of Sciatica include:
- disc herniation
- lumbar facet dysfunction
Myth 1: All pain in the buttock or thigh is considered Sciatica.
Since Sciatic nerve extends from the lumbar spine through to the buttock, back of the thigh, lower leg, and foot. The Sciatica can only be present is the pain crosses the leg below the knee level. Otherwise, it may be a referral pain.
Myth 2: Sciatica Is a Disease.
Sciatica is not a disease but a set of symptoms, pain is the most prominent among them. The pain is felt along the course of the nerve starting from the lower back to buttocks, calves, and right down to the foot. Other symptoms include tingling, numbness, and sensation of pins and needles along the course of the nerve. Hence, sciatica cannot be labeled as a diagnosis but only as a symptom of another disease. The treating physician must find the cause underlying the symptoms of sciatica.
Myth 3: A Slipped Disc is The Only Cause of Sciatica.
Although disc herniation is the most common cause of sciatica, it is not the only cause. As discussed above, with herniated discs, the intervertebral disc (disc between two vertebrae) comes out of its normal position and starts pressing on the nerve root, causing sciatica. Other possible causes include:
- Lumbar degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Piriformis syndrome
Myth 4: We Must First Try Self-Treatment For Sciatica
There is back pain and then there is SCIATICA! Sciatica is a much more serious condition than “regular” back pain. Sciatica can cause unbearable low back pain, excruciating leg pain, tingling, weakness in the leg and foot, and an inability to work or do most daily activities. Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the United Kingdom and according to the NHS England (2016) lower back pain accounts for 11% of the total disability of the UK population. Get professional help!
TIPS AND EXERCISES
– Treatment of the sacroiliac joint in patients with leg pain: a random controlled trial. Eur Spine J. 2013 Oct 22(10): 2310-