One of the most common reasons that patients consult us is for sciatica related pain.
Often unrelenting, sciatica can be many people’s worst nightmare. Our aim is to first of all find the reason for your sciatica, this allows us to effectively aim our treatment to aid your recovery.
There are many causes of sciatica, here are the most common.
- Spinal joint misalignment
- Spinal disc problems
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Spinal stenosis
Spinal joint misalignment
When the joints of the lower back are not able to function properly this dysfunction affects how the body can operate and has an impact on the nerves exiting from the lower part of the spinal cord. This means the nerve is more prone to irritation, which often results in pain and discomfort in the back of the leg.
By working to improve the function of the spine and reduce the interference in the nervous system it works to removes the symptoms caused by the misalignment.
Spinal disc problems
This is probably the biggest concern of people when they attend the chiropractor. Thankfully most people do not have a disc problem. Those that do can largely be managed, it is only a small number that will need to be referred for more invasive procedures.
When a disc bulges or proplapses it can exert pressure onto the nerve root or onto the spinal cord itself. This can lead to serious and sometimes very worrying symptoms. A thorough examination by the chiropractor should reveal if there is any disc pathology and the appropriate course of action.
The piriformis muscle is in the region of the gluteal muscles, and is an important external rotator of the hip. It can get a lot of blame when people are suffering pain in the back of the leg. In our experience we do find problems in the piriformis muscle but this is rarely a primary cause, much more common is the dysfunction in the pelvis and lumbar spine causes the piriformis muscle to not operate properly, if this is left and not addressed it can cause the problem in the piriformis muscle to worsen and then become severe enough that it may appear to be the primary cause.
Unfortunately when the spinal segments are not able to function properly this causes increased wear and tear. This can result in degeneration (arthritis) and osteophyte formation (bone spurs). Either severe degeneration, bone spurs or a combination of both is enough to cause spinal stenosis.
The nerves leave the spinal cord and travel through an inter-vertebral foramina (IVF), this is basically a gap between the vertebra which allows the nerve to exit so it can supply the appropriate part of the body. When this space is compromised, it can result in problems, which can mimic disc problems.
Sciatica during pregnancy
Aches and pains related to pregnancy sometimes are to be expected. Many women do experience sciatica symptoms when pregnant. The cause is usually due to the increased strain placed onto the body during pregnancy. Using safe and effective, gentle chiropractic techniques, chiropractic care is suitable for pregnant women.
What else should I look out for.
As with any collection of symptoms some are more serious than others. If you are experiencing a change in bladder or bowel function; a loss of sensation in the saddle area or sexual dysfunction you should consult your GP or if out of hours your hospital so they can assess you for cauda equina syndrome.
Why see a Chiropractor?
At Chiropractic Works, your chiropractor will go through your medical history give you a thorough chiropractic examination and discuss the findings and the best options available for you. Chiropractic Works focuses on correcting the imbalances in the spine and removing the interference that it causes in the nervous system.