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What is Sciatica and how should it be treated?

Updated: Oct 6

Are you experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling sensation that radiates from your lower back to your toes? If yes, you might be experiencing sciatica.

Sciatica is a term used in any sort of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve travels from back of the pelvis, through the buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at the feet. Some fun facts: Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body!



Irritation and compression of the sciatic nerve can be due to various causes. The causes includes:

  • Lumbar herniated disc

  • Degenerative disc disease

  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis (condition where a small stress fracture occurs and allows one vertebral body to slip forward on another)

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis which causes the narrowing of spinal canal

  • Piriformis syndrome (piriformis muscle irritates or pinches a nerve root that comprises the sciatic nerve)

Sciatica is often characterized by one or a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Often only one side of your body is affected

  • Pain that is worse when sneezing, coughing, or sitting for a long period of time

  • Leg pain that is often described as burning or tingling

  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the affected leg or foot

  • Sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk

The pain associated with sciatica can range from being mild to very painful and from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. Fortunately, most cases resolve with non-operative treatments in a few weeks.

Chiropractic treatments have been effective in treating sciatica. Spinal adjustments and manual manipulation performed by chiropractors focuses on providing better spinal column alignment, which in turn should help to address a number of underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain.

We hope this article would help you to understand more about sciatica.

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