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“Sciatica”

People suffering “Sciatica” are often in their 40s and 50s; it normally begins with a sharp, sudden pain in the lower back then progresses down the back of the leg. The pain is exacerbated with sitting and improved on standing.

The “sciatic” nerve is made up of the smaller nerve that exit from your lumbar spine. It is common in cases of “sciatica” for these small nerves to get pinched by the disc that acts as a shock absorber between the spinal bones. While a disc can’t “slip” it can bulge, herniate or rupture and in doing so put direct pressure on to these smaller nearby nerves.

The result? Swelling, inflammation and pain.

These symptoms are potentially worsened when coughing or sneezing, which could help with the diagnosis, known as the Valsalva manoeuvre.

However, this is not the only cause of “sciatica” as lumbar spinal joint can refer pain down your leg as well as muscle trigger points can cause “pseudo sciatica” this pain pattern is from tension in your buttock muscle “Gluteus minimus”.

How do you get “sciatica”?

It’s easy to trace some spinal injury to an accident such as a car accident. Yet “sciatica” is normally the result of years of repetitive damage; years of bad posture, poor muscle tone, excess weight, to name a few. Even smoking can weaken the disc making them more vulnerable to damage.

Can chiropractic treatment cure “sciatica”?

Pain killers or muscle relaxants are unable to correct the nerve compression caused by a bulging disc and physiotherapy merely offers exercises which can exacerbate the pain initially. Surgery often involves cutting away disc tissue or removing bone to make room for the nerve.

Fortunately, “sciatica” often responds to safe, natural chiropractic care. Although, this is dependent on it cause, and a careful assessment is required to evaluate if a chiropractor can help. The treatment, if beneficial, will involve adjustments to improve joint motion along with massage and acupuncture to relax the tight muscles. Following chiropractic care, many patients have reported that their symptoms have disappeared without drugs or surgery.

References

  • Barge, F. H. (1995). The chiropractic vertebral subluxation and its relationship to vertebrogenic lumbar pain, cruralgia and “sciatic” syndromes. Chiropractic Research Journal, 3(2), 25-39.
  • Bejia, I., Younes, M., Zrour, S., Touzi, M., & Bergaoui, N. (2004). Factors predicting outcomes of mechanical “sciatica”: a review of 1092 cases. Joint Bone Spine, 71(6), 567-571.
  • Bergmann, T. F., & Jongeward, B. V. (1998). Manipulative therapy in lower back pain with leg pain and neurological deficit. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 21(4), 288.
  • Colloca, C. J., Keller, T. S., & Gunzburg, R. (2004). Biomechanical and neurophysiological responses to spinal manipulation in patients with lumbar radiculopathy. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 27(1), 1-15.
  • Cox, J. M., & Shreiner, S. (1984). Chiropractic manipulation in low back pain and “sciatica”: statistical data on the diagnosis, treatment and response of 576 consecutive cases. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 7(1), 1.
  • Kirkaldy-Willis, W. H., & Cassidy, J. D. (1985). Spinal manipulation in the treatment of low-back pain. Canadian Family Physician, 31, 535.
  • Maxwell, T. D. (1978). The piriformis muscle and its relation to the long legged “sciatic” syndrome. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 22(2), 51.
  • McMorland, G., Suter, E., Casha, S., du Plessis, S. J., & Hurlbert, R. J. (2010). Manipulation or microdiskectomy for “sciatica”? A prospective randomized clinical study. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 33(8), 576-584.
  • Orlin, J. R., & Didriksen, A. (2007). Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department.Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 30(2), 135-139.
  • Saal, J. A. (1996). [black small square] Natural History and Nonoperative Treatment of Lumbar Disc Herniation. Spine, 21(24S), 2S-9S.
  • Santilli, V., Beghi, E., & Finucci, S. (2006). Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and “sciatica” with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. The Spine Journal, 6(2), 131-137.
  • Stern, P. J., Cote, P., & Cassidy, J. D. (1995). A series of consecutive cases of low back pain with radiating leg pain treated by chiropractors. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 18(6), 335.
  • Tachihara, H., Kikuchi, S. I., Konno, S. I., & Sekiguchi, M. (2007). Does facet joint inflammation induce radiculopathy?: an investigation using a rat model of lumbar facet joint inflammation. Spine, 32(4), 406-412
  • Vroomen, P. C., de Krom, M. C., Wilmink, J. T., Kester, A. D., & Knottnerus, J. A. (1999). Lack of effectiveness of bed rest for “sciatica”. New England journal of medicine, 340(6), 418-423.