Sciatica is a common term that refers to lower back and leg pain/numbness caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. It is estimated that this problem affects over 3 million people in the US alone each year. Several nerves that exit the lower back combine to form the sciatic nerve which then travels all the way down the back of the leg.
There are generally two problem spots that may result in compression of the sciatic nerve. One is in the lower back, where dysfunction of the joints in the lower back may cause pressure on the nerve root which will manifest as pain, numbness, or tingling in the lower back or down the leg. Once the sciatic nerve exits the lower back, it travels underneath or sometimes through a muscle called the piriformis which is located deep in the glute. Sometimes the piriformis muscle will have excessive tension or inflammation resulting in pressure on the sciatic nerve as it travels directly underneath the muscle. This too can lead to pain, numbness and tingling that one may feel in the lower back, glute, or down the back of the leg.
In order to fix these problems, the Chiropractors at Kailua Wellness Center will assess your spine and determine where the compression/dysfunction is taking place. If the lower back is problematic, specific chiropractic adjustments will be made in order to decompress the joints and return them to normal function and movement which will lead to less pressure on the nerves. If the problem is muscular in nature, the chiropractors will perform a variety of muscle release techniques which will decrease the tension and inflammation on the muscles which will lead to less stress on the nerve. With most patients, there will be a combination of treatments rendered in order to return to normalcy as quickly as possible. The Chiropractors will also teach stretches and exercises that will allow the patient to take an active role in their recovery at home. Lastly, strength and stability exercises will be taught and prescribed so the spine can increase in stability which will decrease any chance for future flare ups.
If you have any questions on this topic, or would like to schedule an evaluation with a Chiropractor at Kailua Wellness Center give us a call at (808) 261-8181