Sciatica is often described as pain over the low back and travelling down the buttock and or leg. There may only be pain going down the leg, and this could be down the back, side or front of the leg.
Sciatica is often described as a nerve pain, sharp in nature with pins and needles. Sciatica usually travels down one side of the leg, however certain conditions may cause it to affect both legs. Numbness and or weakness may occur in the foot.
Sciatica is usually very painful and movements such as bending, twisting and raising the leg are reduced due to pain. Prolonged sitting, sneezing, coughing, lifting, standing and travelling in the car often aggravate sciatica.
There are many causes of sciatica including:
. Spinal Disc Herniation
. Spinal facet joint fixation
. Tight piriformis muscle
. Spinal Stenosis
. Pressure of the babies head during pregnancy
. Pelvic tumour
Chiropractors are trained in diagnosing Sciatica by completing a thorough physical examination including neurological tests (myotomes, dermatomes, reflexes) and orthopaedic tests (straight leg raise, slump test).
Imaging such as a CT scan or MRI may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment depends on the cause of the sciatica.
Disc injuries are a common cause of sciatica and can often be alleviated by rest, ice, NSAIDS, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic treatment. More severe disc injuries may require surgery, however conservative treatment should be tried first.
Facet joint fixation and/or a tight piriformis muscle may produce symptoms of sciatica and are often relieved by chiropractic treatment. The piriformis muscle may aggravate the sciatic nerve, particularly in the 20% of the population where the nerve travels between this muscle. A history of heavy lifting or squats at the gym may have caused the piriformis muscle to tighten.
Our experience team of Chiropractors see adults with sciatica on a weekly basis. We are very confident with managing Sciatica. You can feel confident you are in the right place for the management of your back pain and or sciatica.