Sciatica is a term used to describe leg pain, tingling, numbness and/or weakness that starts in either the low back or buttock and sometimes can travel into the foot. Sciatic pain is more of a symptom than a medical diagnosis. The sciatic nerve is made up of the exiting nerves of the lower lumbar region and depending on which nerve level is irritated/compressed the pain can be in your low back, glute, back of leg or all the way to your foot. Sciatica can sometimes be mild and intermittent (comes and goes), or it can be severe and constant having the potential to incapacitate a person.

Most of the time chiropractic treatment is very effective in relieving some or all of the symptoms associated with sciatica. In some cases where progressive leg weakness or bowel/bladder dysfunction is present, immediate medical intervention may be required

The most important part of treating sciatica is to determine the underlying cause. In most cases the sciatic nerve is being compressed (pinched) by one or all of the following:

  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle (Piriformis Syndrome). This is very common during pregnancy.
  • Foraminal Stenosis ( narrowing of the opening where the nerves exit the spinal cord).
  • Degenerative disc disease (degenerative osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine).
  • Spinal tumor or infection (Rare).

Sometimes if we need to order an MRI we will see a combination of several causes. For instance, it is not unusual to see someone with degenerative changes in the lumbar spine causing foraminal stenosis while also having a disc bulge. Again in most cases surgery is not warranted. If you are suffering from sciatica please call our Alexandria, Ky. office at 859-635-6666 to see if we can help. You can also visit and watch our sciatic video for more detailed information.




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