What Exactly is Sciatica and What can you do about it?
At Wignall-Kennedy Chiropractic, we see a fair amount of sciatic pain patients, especially now that summer sports seasons are beginning. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body, in both length and in diameter (as big around as a thumb, at its largest point).
The sciatic nerve begins in the lower spine, exits out of the pelvis and passes between, under, and over a number of ligaments and muscles in the gluteal region. It then passes down the back of the thigh before dividing at the knee and branching down into the leg and foot. The sciatic nerve originates from 5 vertebral levels meaning it’s actually 5 nerves in one.
True sciatica refers to pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve which can originate from many sources, namely a lumbar disc problem, sacroiliac joint, ligament sprain, or muscle strain. Sports that involve a lot of rotational movements such as golf, tennis, and softball can often lead to sciatic pain, as well.
I say “true” sciatica because often times sciatica is used incorrectly to refer to leg pain associated with low back or gluteal pain from other sources, e.g. a sacroiliac joint or a muscle may refer to pain along the sciatic region. In general, however, sciatica refers to leg pain associated with low back pain and can lead to muscle numbness, tingling, loss of strength or loss of reflexes in the leg, ankle, foot, and/or toes.
So, what do you do if you’re suffering from these symptoms and you think it might be sciatica? See your chiropractor! You need an accurate diagnosis of any pain or symptoms so the cause can be addressed. It is important to know exactly what is going on before a course of action or treatment can be set into motion. Call us today to schedule an appointment to get started on your road to a painless life.