Sciatica is a symptom most commonly caused by a disc herniation, muscle spasm, or vertebral subluxation. Sciatica is described by many patients as an electrical pain, numbness, or tingling sensation that starts in the lower back and radiates down the back of the leg. Sciatica gets its name from the nerve that is being pinched, causing this sharp shooting pain.
The sciatic nerve is a very big nerve that originates in the lower back and runs though many muscles in the legs. If the muscles are tight and overactive or in spasm it can put pressure on the nerve causing pain, numbness, and tingling down the back of the leg and foot. If there is a disc herniation present, fragments of the disc may put pressure on the nerve roots that makes up the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica. A verterbral subluxation is diagnosed if the vertebrae has slipped out of alignment and is putting pressure on a nerve.
If the subluxation occurs in the lower back, sciatica is likely to be a symptom, as well as pain, altered range of motion, and more. Chiropractors diagnose and treat sciatica on a regular basis. The chiropractor will perform a detailed neurological, orthopedic, and physical exam. The results of the exam will be enough for your chiropractor to know where the source of the sciatica is coming from. From there the treatments are very different. If the problem is due to tight muscles, then the muscles will be addressed.
At Club West Chiropractic in Blaine, MN we use start of the art machines designed to relax tight muscles. Electrical muscle stimulation and ultrasound, as well as soft tissue techniques and chiropractic adjustments will be used to treat patients suffering from sciatica. To learn more about disc herniations and how chiropractic can help treat patients with disc problems, click here.