WHAT IS SCIATICA?
Sciatica is a term that refers to the painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the longest and largest nerve in your body. Sciatica comes from the Latin word for “hip.” Your sciatic nerve extends from your buttocks all the way down to your toes! This nerve is formed from five nerve roots in your lower back which join together deep in the pelvis. From there, the sciatic nerve divides into many branch nerves that serve your muscles, joints, skin, and other tissues in your legs and feet. Sciatica flare-ups may or may not involve back pain, which can “refer” pain to other areas. Sciatica sufferers, however, often have a history of low back pain.
A full blown sciatica flare-up can involve the entire sciatic nerve path following the back of the thigh, into the calf, and down into the foot. Or it may attack various points along the nerve, such as the buttocks, knee area, and calf.
What Causes Sciatica? What You Do Every Day!
Subluxations can occur following a car accident, a fall or a sports injury. Being overweight, having poor posture, or even an allergic reaction can lead to a spinal subluxation. Left uncorrected, subluxations can cause the opening between your vertebrae to narrow and compress, irritating and compressing your nerves. Sciatica can often be traced to one or more misaligned vertebrae. The most common cause of sciatica is an irritation of nerve roots as they exit from your spine. Eventually, damaged nerves can restrict your joint movement, which interferes with the transport of lubrication to your discs. When unhealthy discs dry out, this causes the gel-like center to bulge out or herniate. The bulging or herniated disc matter can press against your sciatic nerve, causing further irritation. Irreversible damage may occur if the nerve interference is not removed. That’s where chiropractic comes in!
While your body tries to adapt to a sciatic nerve injury, chances are you won’t feel a thing. By the time you feel pain or numbness, often permanent damage to your musculoskeletal system may have already occurred. The goal of chiropractic is to locate the specific misaligned vertebrae and remove the resulting nerve irritation. Gentle chiropractic spinal adjustments can correct the underlying cause of your sciatica. Early sciatic pain is often so mild that most people ignore it altogether. Prompt chiropractic care can help prevent sciatica or stop its progression. Call your Seattle Chiropractor, Dr. Jas Walia, before the pain starts. It is easier to maintain a healthy spine than it is to treat an unhealthy one.