What Is It?
The Sciatic Nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It is formed from several
nerve branches emitting from the lower part of our spine. It runs down the back
of the legs all the way to the toes.
Sciatica is manifested by pain in the buttocks with pain radiating down
the back of the legs. It may be on both sides but is more common on
just one side. Sufferers of sciatic pain have compared the discomfort in the
back of their leg to a severely throbbing toothache. Pain can become so severe
as to totally disable the sufferer. While sciatica usually accompanies low back
pain, it may occur without such symptoms being present.
What causes it? "it is most commonly caused by peripheral nerve
root compression." (Merck Medical Manual) Spinal vertebral subluxations
(misaligned vertebrae) in the lumbar spine can and do cause peripheral nerve
These misaligned vertebrae may have been caused by old back injuries, and
later, aggravated by back strain from stressing the lower back and abdominal
muscles through trauma, improper lifting, obesity or pregnancy.
When this condition occurs, the sciatic nerve can become inflamed from the
lower back all the way down the back of the leg, resulting in pain, numbness
in the leg and/or foot and even weakness in the muscles. The sciatic nerves
supply energy to the muscles and joints of the hips, buttocks, calves and feet.
Medical doctors are often frustrated by sciatica because many times
even the strongest painkillers do not provide relief to the sufferer.
As with many drugs, there is also the risk of becoming addicted or dependent
upon them. The main thing to remember about drugs is that they do not treat
or correct the cause of the problem.
As Doctors of Chiropractic, we use spinal adjustments to reduce pressure on
the "pinched" spinal nerves, thereby relieving the pain. Chiropractic
treatments help reduce the inflammation of the sciatic nerve and are especially
effective when treatments begin in the early stages of the condition. If you
choose drugs first, you are simply masking the pain, and though you may be experiencing
some temporary relief, you can be further damaging spinal nerves by allowing
the problem to continue, and possibly even worsen.
Other than a Doctor of Chiropractic, there are very few doctors who are
qualified to successfully remove spinal subluxations. The first and primary
consideration, before even thinking about back surgery, should be a chiropractic
Any sufferer of sciatic pain who has had the cause (subluxation) removed through
chiropractic will testify that chiropractic treatment first will
be the last treatment needed!!