Sciatica Chiropractic Care
Sciatica describes persistent pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and into the lower leg. 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. Although sciatica is a relatively common form of lower back and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is actually a set of symptoms. Sciatica occurs most frequently in people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Most often, it tends to develop as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine, not as a result of injury.
Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity and frequency; minimal, moderate, severe and occasional, intermittent, frequent or constant. Pain is described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins and needles or similar to electric shocks. Other symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations. Sciatica is generally caused by sciatic nerve compression. Disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy, childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders.
Since there are many disorders that cause sciatica, the chiropractor's first step is to determine what is causing the patient's sciatica. Forming a diagnosis involves reviewing the patient's medical history, and a physical and neurological examination. Diagnostic testing includes an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or electrodiagnostic tests. These examinations and tests help to detect possible contraindications to spinal adjustments and other chiropractic therapies.