Sciatica is the name of the condition in which the sciatic nerve, the longest in the human body, is irritated. Running from the lower back, through the butt and down the leg, it’s no wonder this nerve can come under fire from a variety of injuries- whether it be from a herniated disc, subluxation in the lower back or a problem relating to the piriformis muscle, sciatica is characterized by pain and stiffness in the lower back, shooting pains that can make standing up difficult, and especially by tingling or numbness in the lower extremities. Fortunately, chiropractic is a tailor made treatment for sciatica.
While all of us have subluxation of varying degrees at different points in our life, a subluxation in the lumbar region can create sciatic nerve compression. Furthermore, herniated discs lead to sciatica in the same way that it causes nerve problems elsewhere in the back: the cartilaginous material in the disc begins to bulge into the spinal canal and put pressure on the nearby nerves, which, in the case of sciatica, will be the sciatic nerve. While most herniated discs will heal by themselves, chiropractic adjustment, traction and spinal decompression are great techniques for easing the pain associated with herniated discs and speeding up the time of recovery.
The piriformis muscle runs underneath the glutes and it can also cause irritation to the sciatic nerve if it becomes strained or stiff. We treat the piriformis muscle with trigger point therapy to release the tension and improve circulation. While the reasons for your particular sciatic nerve pain are likely varied, your best way to fight it is with the insight and care we offer at Holmes Chiropractic.
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.