WHAT IS SCIATICA?
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body, and is comprised of the nerve roots originating from our lumbar spine.
These nerve roots connect together to form the sciatic nerve which run through the back of our hips, into the buttocks and down into the back of our legs.
Sciatica is the nerve pain we experience when the sciatic nerve is irritated or injured. This can often lead to radiating pain along the path of the sciatic nerve, as well as muscle weakness in more severe cases. Sciatic pain can often be described as a “sharp stabbing” sensation, as well as “burning” or “electric” in quality.
WHAT CAUSES SCIATIC NERVE PAIN?
Sciatica can be caused by several different conditions of the spine, these include:
- Disc Herniation
A herniated disc can put pressure on the surrounding nerves which often leads to sciatica.
- Spinal or Foraminal Stenosis
Stenosis refers to the abnormal narrowing of the space for the nerve to exit the spine, most commonly due to either age-related changes or traumatic injuries to the spine.
Arthritis within the spine can be very normal as one progresses throughout life, this often leads to the formation of bone spurs which can cause compression of the nerves throughout the lower back.
When one vertebra slips out of alignment with the level above it, it can often cause a narrowing of the opening where the nerve exits (foramina) which can lead to a irritation of the sciatic nerve.
- Piriformis Syndrome
Sciatica can also be caused due to the entrapment of the sciatic nerve against the muscles in our buttock (i.e. the piriformis).
- Spinal Lesions & Masses
Lesions in our lumbar spinal canal can be another cause of compression of the sciatic nerve, these can be either benign or malignant (often accompanied by other unexplained symptoms).
MANAGING YOUR SCIATICA
Here at Fortitude Chiropractic, our chiropractors will perform a thorough assessment to ensure they have a complete understanding of your condition. This includes taking an in-depth physical examination of the regions involved, as well as taking a look at lifestyle factors which may be playing a part in the underlying problem.