Sciatica is back pain that is caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve, which is the large nerve that runs from the lower back down to the back of each leg. It can be called radiating orWhen there is an injury to, or pressure put on the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in the lower back that spreads to the hip, buttocks, and leg.

Sciatic nerve pain can vary in intensity and frequency. It can be minimal, moderate, or severe. Pain can also be frequent, constant, occasional, or intermittent.

Sciatic pain can be described in many ways:

  • Achy
  • Dull
  • Toothache-like
  • Sharp
  • Pins and needles
  • Electric shock-like shooting leg pain
  • Numbness and tingling sensations
  • Burning

What Causes Sciatica?

A common misconception about sciatica is that it’s a disorder. But it’s actually a symptom of a disorder. Generally, sciatica is caused by nerve compression that can result in the loss of feeling, or paralysis of a single group of muscles. It can also cause insomnia.

There are spinal disorders that are known to cause sciatic nerve pain:

  • Herniated, bulging, or slipped discs.
  • Lumbar spine subluxations or misaligned vertebral bodies.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Spinal tumors.
  • Piriformis syndrome, which is a muscle located in the lower part of the spine that connects to the thighbone and helps in hip rotation. This muscle is susceptible to injury from a fall, difference in leg length, or hip arthritis. These situations cause the piriformis muscle to cramp and spasm, which develops pinching in the sciatic nerve, causing inflammation and pain.

There are non-spinal disorders that can also cause sciatica:

  • Constipation.
  • Diabetes.
  • Sitting on a back pocket wallet.

Diagnosing Sciatica
There are many disorders that cause sciatica. A chiropractor’s first step is determining the cause. A diagnosis involves a review of your medical history as well as a neurological and physical examination. Testing may include an x-ray, or electro diagnostic test.

Chiropractic Treatment
Spinal movement that is restricted leads to pain, reduced function, and performance. Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive, non-surgical, and drug free. It helps your body’s potential to heal itself. Treatment can include different treatments:

  • Ice/cold therapies reduce inflammation and help control sciatic pain.
  • Spinal adjustments help free the restricted movement of the spine to help restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position. This helps reduce nerve irritability, muscle spasms, pain, and other sciatica symptoms.
  • Ultrasound makes gentle heat created by sound waves that penetrate muscles and increase circulation to help reduce muscle spasms, stiffness, swelling, cramping, and sciatic pain.
  • TENS unit is a small, box-like, battery powered, portable machine that stimulates muscles.

Your chiropractor may determine the sciatica pain is caused by disorders that requires treatment by another type of doctor, and will refer you to another specialty. In other cases, chiropractors may treat the patient, or even co-manage patients care with other specialists.

Are you suffering from sciatic pain? Call Cross Valley Chiropractic for a consultation at (570) 822-4848.