What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is lower back pain that extends into the lower leg(s). It can feel dull, sharp or even like pins and needles. It can also be felt constantly, or occasionally. Generally speaking, sciatic pain is due to compression in the sciatic nerve (one of two large nerves that run down the back of each leg into the feet). Sciatic pain may be caused by:
- Nerve entrapment in the lumbar spine
- Disc herniation
- Piriformis syndrome, when the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve (may be due to misalignment of the sacrum or pelvis)
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
Your sciatic nerve is a sort of ‘information highway,’ which carries messages from the lumbar region of the spine, through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. The nerve roots at L4-S3 (at the base of the spine) join together to form the largest nerve-the sciatic nerve, which is about the sizes of two fingers together. This nerve sends messages to and from the brain and legs, allowing you to walk and feel sensations in your lower body. If the sciatic nerve has pressure on it for a long period of time, it can lead to continued leg weakness, loss of bowel and/or bladder function, difficulty breathing, anxiety, and even panic attack symptoms.
‘Sciatica’ per se is not a diagnosis, but instead a description of the group of symptoms that occur when the sciatic nerve is compressed. Experts estimate that most cases of sciatica occur between the ages of 25 to 45, and that approximately 15-40% of the population will experience sciatica during their lives.
Chiropractic Care and Sciatica
The good news is that our gentle chiropractic care can take pressure off the sciatic nerve, often leading to restored function. Approximately 90% of sciatica cases will resolve over a three to six month period with chiropractic care.
Chiropractors are considered primary health care practitioners, meaning that you don’t need a referral from your MD to make an appointment.
The doctors at Community Chiropractic of Acton have years of experience in providing effective, drug- and surgery-free chiropractic care for their patients. They work with the Nervous System to remove pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel to every cell, tissue, organ and organ system of the body! Patients consistently report feeling more energy, greater ease in their body, deeper breathing and improved sleep with chiropractic care.