What Is Sciatica Pain?
It’s a pain the goes from your lower spine area (lumbar) through your buttock, and down the back of your leg. While not all people will experience the pain all the way down, it usually is felt from the lower back into the leg area.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body and it branches out into much smaller nerves as it runs down your legs. It helps to provide nerve feeling to your thighs, legs, and feet – and helps to control many of the muscles in the lower leg area.
What causes Sciatica?
Usually it’s a sign that something is putting pressure on the nerve in your lower back area (lumbar).
A Bulging or herniated disc is the most common cause, but piriformis syndrome can also be the issue – the piriformis muscle lies over the sciatic nerve and if this muscle becomes unnecessarily tight or you have a spasm in it, it can put pressure on the nerve. Sometimes, it can be caused by actually sitting on your wallet in the back pocket of your pants all the time.
The pain can vary. It could be a mild ache to a very sharp, burning or excruciating pain. With some people, it feels like an electric shock. Sciatic pain usually starts out gradually and gets worse over time. It can also feel worse when sitting down or coughing or sneezing.
How can chiropractic treatment help?
Most of the time it can be relieved through stretching, deep tissue massage of the piriformis muscle and chiropractic care. On very rare occasions, a procedure called trigger point injection is needed, where a medical pain specialists injects a small amount of anesthetic directly into the muscle to help break the spasm cycle. But this isn’t common.