My treatment with Dr. Alex Jimenez has tremendously helped me. It gives me just, a sense of relief knowing that I can come and see him and all of his employees and great masseuses and everyone, can just release all the tension. It just brings me back to life.April Hermosillo
Have you ever experienced back pain which triggers or radiates shooting pain into the buttocks or legs? Millions of people in the United States suffer from this common health issue known as sciatica. Sciatica is a general diagnostic term used to describe radiating pain, tingling sensations, numbness or weakness which runs across the length of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica originates along the lower back and then travels from the buttocks into one or both legs. Instead of a dull achy pain, this type of pain is characterized as a sharp, shooting pain that worsens through prolonged periods of sitting. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body comprised of many nerve roots which come together once they exit the spine. When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed, due to a variety of possible causes, symptoms will manifest and radiate down the leg.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a collection of symptoms, including pain, tingling and burning sensations at the lower back and/or legs, weakness, and numbness, caused by a combination of: pressure on the sciatic nerve, inflammation to the sciatic nerve or the region directly surrounding the nerve, an irritation to the sciatic nerve, and/or a pinching of the sciatic nerves. As the largest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve can be easily affected.
Sciatic nerve pain is a common health issue that affects many people on a regular basis. Its consequences can range from a mild nuisance to a debilitating pain which interferes with an individual’s physical activities. Sciatica symptoms manifest in many different ways, including:
- Lower back pain
- Leg Pain
- Buttock pain
A sensationof tingling or “pins & needles” running down the leg, and even into the toes
- Numbness in the legs or feet
- Muscle weakness in the legs
- Aching or burning feeling in the legs
- Pain or numbness in the big toe, or any of the toes
- Any combination of the list above
As you may see, though some individuals could experience pain from the lower back all the way down to their feet, it can be isolated to a segment of this area. Fortunately, a variety of treatment approaches are available to help treat sciatica. Below, we will discuss some of the most common causes of sciatica as well as demonstrate the best treatment approach. Chiropractic care is one of the most common alternative treatment options utilized to provide sciatic nerve pain relief without prescriptions or surgery.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatic nerve pain may not always be felt immediately following an injury or condition due to an accident. Some people experience sciatica that seems to come and go, while for others, it might take years before their symptoms manifest at all. This is partly because pain is processed by only 10 percent of the nervous system. A patient may also feel relief from their pain, but because the underlying cause of their sciatica hasn’t been fixed, the pain will come back. Below is a list of some of the causes of sciatica.
- Subluxation or misalignment of the vertebrae
- Disc degeneration, herniation, bulge, protrusion or other damage
- A tumor pressing on the sciatic nerve
- Injury to muscles
- Slipping, falling, or other impacts
- Internal bleeding
- Bad posture, either from sitting, standing or sleeping
- Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal the sciatic nerves pass through,
- Playing sports
- Poor lifting techniques
- Other normal daily activities
While there are many possible causes for sciatica, the most frequent is a subluxation, or misalignment of the vertebrae in the lumbar spine, or low back. A subluxation that is left untreated will result in the wear-and-tear of the spine, which in turn may lead to disc protrusions, disc degeneration, disc herniations, and at some stages, even osteoarthritis. Chiropractic care will gently fix subluxations in the spine, allowing the nervous system to perform at an optimal level so that true recovery can occur.
Another common cause of sciatica is a disc herniation. Spinal stenosis, which is a consequence of severe degeneration or alignment problems can also cause sciatic nerve pain. A condition called piriformis syndrome occurs when a tight piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve. Determining the reason for sciatica is essential in understanding how to care for the health issue. Untreated sciatica can lead to problems such as:
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Digestion Problems
- Edema or leg swelling
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Menstrual problems
- Urinary problems
- And more
Leaving sciatica untreated for any length of time can be damaging to your health, and the problem may worsen over time. The use of drugs and/or medications to help cope with your sciatic pain may only offer temporary relief from the symptoms as the real underlying source of your sciatica may not have been treated accordingly. Diagnosis typically includes a comprehensive examination using a range of motion testing, neurological testing, imaging with MRI or X-Rays, and occasionally, further testing using nerve conduction velocity and electromyography evaluations.
Treatment for sciatica may vary depending on the cause of the symptoms. A chiropractor may use a series of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to help take pressure from the sciatic nerve. Other chiropractic care techniques and methods include the flexion distraction diversified technique, traction, and lumbar decompression. Passive and active exercises can also help treat sciatica. Exercises can also be recommended to restore strength, mobility, and flexibility. In severe cases of sciatica, the healthcare professional may recommend surgery.
Sciatica occurs when an injury or condition results in the compression or impingement of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the human body. When this happens, a collection of symptoms, including pain, tingling and burning sensations, as well as numbness, can develop. Chiropractic care is a well-known, alternative treatment option which can help carefully release the tension in the spine, reducing sciatic nerve pain.Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.
Chiropractic Care and Sciatica
The European Spine Journal printed the findings from a clinical trial demonstrating that chiropractic care led to a 72 percent success rate in treating sciatica and its associated symptoms compared to only a 20 percent success rate from physical therapy, and a 50 percent success rate from corticosteroid injections when treating
Sciatica is a widespread problem that many patients experience. Chiropractic care can find the source of the health issue in order to begin treatment and deliver pain relief accurately. Sciatica can be painful and hinder you from living life to the fullest. Contact a chiropractor now to determine whether this is the ideal solution for you.
If you or somebody you know is suffering from sciatica and any of its associated symptoms, please recommend this article to them. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Acute Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.