Sciatica is the pain associated with an inflamed sciatic nerve. Chiropractors can find the joint that is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, adjust it and release the pressure thereby alleviating the pain.

Where is the sciatic nerve located and why does it cause pain?

Dr. Luke Stringer: Sciatic nerve is formed by nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. It is about as thick as your thumb, and it innovates all the way through your buttock, down the back of your legs, into your ankle and foot. When the nerve root becomes compressed and/or irritated, essentially that sciatic nerve becomes inflamed. Once it is diagnosed inflamed through joint issues, such as subluxation and adhesion in the muscle, it can cause pain that is classically known as sciatica.

Can you describe some of the symptoms of sciatica and the type of pain that people experience?

Dr. Luke Stringer: Yes, classic sciatica is tingling, numbness, burning, sharp stabbing pain. We even have patients in our office with loss of motor function, which means how well you can move, and there is a symptom called drop foot, which is a difficult one to fix. But it really is not pleasant and if you are suffering with sciatica and/or you know a family member or friend that is suffering from sciatica, I would recommend go and see a chiropractor because sciatica is part of the leading cause of disability in this country, which is essentially lower back pain.

How do chiropractors provide relief from sciatica?

Dr. Luke Stringer: Through specific imaging we can pinpoint the joint, or joints, that are causing the compression and/or irritation upon the nerve, and through chiropractic adjustments and/or physical therapy we can provide relief by essentially removing the stress from the nerve and the joint, which allows the joint to move better. And once it is moving better, it places less compression and irritation on the nerve, therefore gets you out of pain.

Can sciatica be completely healed or does it always reoccur?

Dr. Luke Stringer: It depends. It is on a case by case basis, but as long as there is no irreversible damage to the joint, the disc, or the nerve, which is chronic degeneration, or damaged disc through injury, which will require surgery, the large majority of people should be able to correct the issue long-term if seeing the right provider.

What can people do at home to help with the pain from sciatica?

Dr. Luke Stringer: Some basic stretching of the hips and the lower back may help. There’s also some specific exercises aimed at rehabbing disc issues, they’re actually called the Mackenzie exercises, they could all offer some temporary relief. However, again, if you are suffering with sciatic pain and/or you know somebody who is, I still recommend getting to see a chiropractor and be evaluated thoroughly, and essentially coming up with some appropriate treatment for your issue.

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