Sciatica is not an actual diagnosis but rather a symptom caused by another condition. It is important to find the root cause of your sciatica. One of our Chiropractors will be able to help you, by determining the cause of your sciatica.
Signs and symptoms of sciatica
Buttock Pain (Usually one sided)
Lower back pain
Electrical type shooting pain down the back of your leg to your foot.
Numbness in your leg
Tingling in your leg.
Difficulty picking your foot up.
Pain gets worse with coughing/sneezing.
Common causes of Sciatica
The most common cause is Intervertebral disc herniation (commonly known as a “Slipped disc”). This is where the jelly like substance on the inside of the disc pushes through the harder outer layer of the disc and pushes on the Sciatic nerve causing pain. Whilst these can be incredibly painful and debilitating they are usually self-limiting and usually heal on their own.
2. Spinal Stenosis
Stenosis means the point at which the nerve exits the spine called the has narrowed causing irritation to the nerve. Bony protrusions in your spine known as osteophytes can irritate the nerve as it exits the spinal column. These can be caused by arthritis in the spine or from trauma. You may also hear this referred to as spinal stenosis. Stenosis is more common in people over the age of 50. Men are more likely to be affected than women.
A spondylolisthesis basically means that one vertebral body has slipped and moved forward compared to the vertebral body below it. As a result of this movement, irritation to nerve roots can be caused. .
4. Arthritis in the Spine.
As the joints in the spine begin to wear away, the spaces in between them can narrow causing irritation to the Sciatic nerve root.
5. Piriformis Syndrome
The Piriformis is a muscle in the buttocks that externally rotates the hip, making your foot point outwards. In some individuals the sciatic nerve naturally pierces this muscle as it travels down the leg. Sometimes, this muscle can become tight and can tend to irritate the sciatic nerve.
Can chiropractic help with Sciatica?
It depends on what is causing your sciatica. At Ashwood Chiropractic Clinic our chiropractors will be able to determine what is causing your sciatic nerve pain by conducting an in depth examination of your neurological and musculoskeletal systems as well as looking at your posture and your general lifestyle. They will be able to guide you in the right direction to make sure you recover back to your best. Whether that be with Chiropractic treatment or through other methods, they will make sure you are in the best possible place to recover.
Is medical imaging necessary?
The use of imaging to confirm the diagnosis of sciatica is not very useful. Imaging may be indicated in patients with severe symptoms who fail to respond to conservative treatment for 6-8 weeks or to find the underlying cause of the sciatica.