Low back pain is the most common reason patients seek chiropractic care, and it comes in many different forms. Sciatica is a version of a low back pain condition characterized by nerve pain along the sciatic nerve. This pain travels down the back of a person’s leg and causes sever function limitations in some cases.
Sciatica Presentation and Symptoms:
Sciatic nerve pain is often described as a “sharp”, “tingling”, “cramping” or “burning” sensation extending from the low back into the hips/ buttocks and sometimes past the knee and into the foot. Sciatic pain typically occurs only in one leg, but can be present in both legs. Sciatica can affect patients of any age due to a variety of causes. One of the most common causes is a bulging disc where the disc places pressure on the nerve causing pain. Another common cause of sciatica is disc degeneration. Disc degeneration leads to a decrease in disc height, which can put pressure on a nerve and cause pain. Another and much less common cause of sciatica is compression by the piriformis muscle. This is sometimes called “piriformis syndrome.”
Regardless of the reason a person is having sciatica pain, a chiropractic evaluation is a good first step. When a person reports to a chiropractor for these symptoms, the chiropractor will be able to determine if conservative care is the right course of action or if other treatments such as pain managment are needed.