Sciatica pain affects a lot of people every year. For most people, the pain starts in their lower back and radiates down one or both of their legs. Others experience the pain, numbness, or tingling just in their legs, feet or toes. Sciatica takes its name from the sciatic nerve, which is the longest and largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back area know as the lumbar spine. The sciatic nerve contains five nerves which run all the way down into your toes. For this reason, some people experience pain, or a tingling running from their lower back, down their leg, and into their toes.
Sciatic pain has a lot of ways of getting your attention, but no matter how you experience sciatica you should identify and correct the root problem so you don’t continue to experience pain or develop chronic sciatica.
Some Ways You May Experience Sciatic Pain
- Lower back pain
- Buttock pain
- Numbness in your legs or feet
- A tingling sensation running down your leg, even into your toes
- Numbness or pain in your big toe
- A “Pins and Needles” sensation in your leg
- Weakness in your muscles
Naturally when you feel pain, you start to wonder what is causing it, and how it should be treated. For many people that means doing an internet search. No doubt if you have been searching the internet for answers you have seen recommendations ranging from taking medication, epidural steroid injections, to surgery. Obviously, surgery should be a last case solution for any problem.
So, let’s start with what sciatica actually is, and what causes it.
Sciatica is the pain that comes from the sciatic nerve being irritated, pinched, pressure on the sciatic nerve, or inflammation to the nerve and/or the area directly surrounding the nerve. As you can see, sciatica is a physical problem and not a disease. It is also something that Mills Chiropractic treat successfully on a daily basis.
By far, the most common cause of sciatica is a misalignment, or subluxation, in the vertebra of the lumbar spine (lower back) causing the sciatic nerve to be irritated or pinched. While it may be tempting to wait and see if the pain goes away on its own, or to take pain killers, I have to advise against that for several reasons.
- Taking pain medication does not correct the problem. It just masks the pain.
- If your spine is out of alignment, it needs to be gently restored to its proper position so your nervous system can function optimally. The nerves control the muscles and organs of the body.
- Once you have sciatic pain and don’t get it corrected, you will continue to have sciatic pain. Since only 10% of your nervous system feels pain, the sciatica may appear to come and go, but the root cause will have been left uncorrected. Subluxations left uncorrected will lead to spinal degeneration disease (osteoarthritis, disc degeneration, and disc bulges, protrusions, or herniation).
- If you do not correct the underlying problem of your sciatic pain, you can end up with more problems such as: constipation, erectile dysfunction, incontinence, menstrual problems, urinary problems, leg swelling or edema, and other problems.