What is sciatica?

Sciatica is characterized by pain that shoots down the top of your leg. You can feel the pain in your buttocks or lower back, and down the outer side or back of your thigh. Your lower back, leg, or buttocks may also feel weak or numb, or your pain may be dull rather than shooting.

What causes sciatica?

Most of the time, sciatica pain occurs when the sciatic nerve at the base of your spine is irritated. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body and is situated near the bottom of your spinal column base. It splits into two branches, each of which travels down one of your thighs.

Almost all cases of sciatica (85%) are caused by a vertebral disc that has slipped out of its normal position and begun pushing or rubbing against the sciatic nerve. Vertebral discs are cushiony tissues that separate your vertebrae, prevent them from rubbing against one another, and absorb shock when you walk, run, or engage in other activities.

As you age, your vertebral discs degenerate and become more likely to slip out of place. Being overweight or putting other kinds of pressures on your spinal column, such as lifting heavy objects or engaging in manual labor, also raises your risk for sciatica. Even sitting for prolonged periods can throw out the alignment of your spine and irritate your sciatic nerve.

Sometimes sciatica is caused by an inflamed sacroiliac joint. More rarely, muscle spasms, tumors, or degenerative diseases such as diabetes trigger sciatica.

What are my treatment options for sciatica?

Medical treatments for sciatica

Medical treatments for sciatica include:

  • DyAnsys® percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for chronic pain

  • Trigger-point anesthetic and steroid injections into points of pain

  • Massage to increase circulation of blood and oxygen

  • Rehab therapy to strengthen your core and other muscles

Chiropractic treatments for sciatica

Chiropractic treatments for sciatica start with spinal adjustments that realign your spine and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Your doctor may also use the Graston Technique® instrument-assisted soft-tissue manipulation to break down scar tissue so that your body can begin its healing process.

You don’t have to tolerate the pain and leg weakness of sciatica. To get relief, contact the expert team at Leading Edge Medical by calling or using the online booking form.