Golden Bay Chiropractic Works Where High Technology Meets Natural Healing

Sciatica and Chiropractic


What is Sciatica?

One of the most common things people complain of, when they come to Golden Bay Chiropractic Works, is sciatica.  When we ask where it hurts, some point to their leg, some to their back, hip or a proportionate mixture of all of these. Not everyone is clear about what sciatica is. Sciatica is not a diagnosis, it is a symptom of an underlying condition. It is a lay term for pain that extends down the leg and pain that can be moderate to excruciating.

Common symptoms of sciatica:

  • Most often it starts in the lower back and travels from the gluteal, back of upper leg, behind knee and it can travel further down the leg to the foot and toes.
  • Sciatica is not only felt as pain, it can be felt as a burning or tingling sensation.
  • In advanced cases there can be numbness or weakness of the leg muscles.
  • Sciatica mostly affects one leg, rarely does it affect both.
  • Standing and sitting are commonly uncomfortable in legs and low back.

What causes sciatica?

Some anatomy to begin with.  Sciatica gets its name from the sciatic nerve.  

The sciatic nerve runs from your low back down each of your legs to your toes.  It is formed from the nerve roots (nerves that come out of the spine) L4, L5, Sacral nerves at the bottom of the spine. All these nerve roots join together to form the largest nerve in the human body; about the thickness of your index finger. The sciatic nerves feeds each of your legs with messages from the brain and back again.  This allows you to move your legs and walk, feel sensation when something touches your leg, quickly move your leg away when you stand on your kids toy in the dark, and so much more!

In conclusion, the sciatic nerve, the body’s biggest nerve, when compressed, can cause pain ranging from a minor pain to absolutely crippling, that at worst, may require disc surgery as a last resort.

The most common causes of sciatica:

  • A compressed nerve in the lumbar spine affecting the sciatic nerve.
  • A disc herniation – one of the discs in the spine bulges out to the side (‘slipped disc’) and presses on the lower lumber nerve roots (that form the sciatic nerve).
  • Piriformis syndrome – the piriformis is a muscle in your buttocks that the sciatic nerve runs under, and sometimes through, and if it gets tight it can irritate the sciatic nerve.
  • Trigger point referral – knots in the muscles of the buttocks or low back, called trigger points, can cause the sensation of pain down the leg (referral) that can mimic sciatica.
  • Some pregnancies with ligament softening hormones like “relaxin” give rise to possible instabilities of the lumbar spine and pelvis that allow sciatica to develop.

How do you manage sciatica with chiropractic?

Our approach is  promoting natural healing. Sciatica is a never completely easy as high correction specificity is required and many patients have allowed too much time before they do something about their advancing condition. This means a very organised approach is needed in most cases to get optimum results.

With the causes listed above, in my opinion and experience, a combination of chiropractic adjustments, stretching, cryotherapy and sciatic precaution advice can make a significant impact with sciatica in most cases.

With our approach we are addressing any misalignments of the spine and pelvis through specific, low force chiropractic adjustments.  In most cases this will take pressure off the nerves and aid the recovery/retraction of any disc herniation (‘slipped disc’ ). We utilise stress studies, computerised adjusting instruments plus specialised movement chiropractic tables to align the spine and naturally reduce disc bulges.

At Golden Bay Chiropractic Works we ensure that we give you the optimum natural approach to sciatica and refer on if necessary.

Call 95371226
Golden Bay Chiropractic Works, Golden Bay Shops, Dampier Drive, Golden Bay
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