What is sciatica?
Sciatica is an umbrella term often used to describe pain along the lower back, in the buttocks or into the leg which occurs in up to 40% of the population. The type of pain can be variable; including sharp, dull, aching, throbbing, tingling, numbness or burning pain. The sciatic nerve originates from the lower lumbar and upper sacral spinal nerve roots, which combine to become the largest nerve, by diameter, in the body. It is common for this large nerve to become compressed or irritated, especially as it exits the spinal column or as it runs through the gluteal musculature.
What are some common causes of Sciatica?
· Joint restrictions in the spine
· Tight, weak and/or irritated low back and gluteal musculature
· Repetitive or overuse injuries to the lower back or hips
· New or old traumatic injuries
· Piriformis syndrome
· Degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis or disc herniations
What are the best treatments?
The following techniques are often used to help address sciatic pain, as they help restore motion to the spine, reduce inflammation and increase strength:
· Chiropractic manipulation
· Soft tissue manual therapy
· Therapeutic exercises and stretches
The combination of conservative techniques can be very successful in reducing sciatica symptoms and preventing future injuries from reoccurring.