Contrary to popular belief, the term sciatica actually refers to a group of symptoms, rather than a specific diagnosis for the cause of the pain. The exact symptoms can vary from person to person, but it typically involves pain down a leg with associated lower back pain. Some people will get leg pain with additional symptoms of numbness and tingling all the way down into the toes. Others may experience only the pain, and it may not go any further than the knee. The severity of symptoms can also vary greatly. While sciatica may be debilitating for one person, it may just be a minor irritant for someone else.
Sciatica occurs when there is compression on the sciatic nerve. This compression causes pain, and can also lead to other neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness. As a doctor of chiropractic, my main concern is finding out the primary cause of the sciatic pain. The sciatic nerve can become compressed in several different ways, and in multiple locations in the body. In order to maximize the effectiveness of sciatica treatment, it is imperative that we find out where the compression is happening.
Your sciatica may be due to a lumbar subluxation, lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction just to name a few. Each one of these causes may require different modes of sciatica treatment in order to fully resolve the problem. Chiropractors are highly trained in sciatica treatment, and the vast majority of sciatica cases respond very well to conservative chiropractic care. In rare cases, the sciatica may be caused by something more serious, and your chiropractor to identify these cases and refer you to the appropriate healthcare provider. To find out more about sciatica treatment and the sciatic nerve, contact Essential Motion Chiropractic in Fort Collins today.