The term sciatica means “pain in the sciatic nerve” and is therefore actually a symptom rather than being a condition in itself. The sciatic nerve is made up of several nerves from the lower part of the back and runs down through the buttock into the back of the thigh, the lower part of the leg and into the foot. Sciatica can result from a number of problems, virtually all of which occur in the low back and can be helped by your chiropractor who has a wealth of experience managing this painful condition.
In the younger and middle-aged patient, the most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or prolapsed disc. The peak age to suffer with a prolapsed disc is in ones mid-thirties, however we have seen patients with disc prolapses in their teens and also in their seventies.
Later in life, the most common cause of sciatica is wear and tear in the low back causing a reduction in the space between the vertebrae where the nerves exit the spine. If the nerve becomes irritated and inflamed, it can become squeezed in this reduced space causing pain in the nerve.
We draw from a wide variety of treatment methods to relieve the pain of sciatica and help prevent recurrence. In a small percentage of cases, patients with sciatica need extra help beyond the manual therapy and conservative care we provide. In these instances we can refer for MRI scanning, epidural injection and, very rarely, surgery.
Thankfully, the vast majority of our sciatica patients respond very well to conservative care. If you think you’re suffering with sciatica and would like more information, please get in touch.
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