Sciatica can range from a feeling similar to a constant deep dull tooth ache, a tight string going down the back of the leg to a lightning sharp stabbing pain that goes from the buttock to the foot. It can often be accompanied by leg cramps, pins and needles, numbness and in more severe cases a loss of strength in the calf, shin or foot muscles. The pain can vary from a low grade ache to a debilitating pain where walking is almost impossible as a person can barely put any pressure through their leg.
Sciatica is often associated with lower back pain and in some cases patients will have had years of recurrent lower back pain which then stops and is followed by sciatic pain.
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve which is mostly due to disc injury or a “slipped disc”, but it can also result from spinal degeneration narrowing the holes from the which the sciatic nerve emerges from the spine, cysts and tumours which develop around the nerves inside the spine and muscular imbalances in the pelvis such as in Piriformis Syndrome.
Many people often think they have sciatica, when instead the pain they experience is being referred from damaged joints, muscles, ligaments and tissues in the lower back and this is often easily treated with chiropractic care.
To find out the cause of sciatica a thorough examination is necessary and x-rays are beneficial in helping to understand the cause.
Treating sciatica early helps in achieving a good result, in cases where it is left to progress more nerve damage can occur and residual symptoms remain such as foot weakness and numbness once the pain has disappeared.
At Complete Chiropractic our treatment is directed at achieving effective relief from sciatica as quickly as possible by using a variety of spinal adjustments, manipulation and exercises to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and then developing a corrective plan to help prevent it from returning.