The term sciatic describes a set of symptoms that can include lower back pain, hip pain, burning or tingling down the leg, and weakness in the leg. Sciatica typically only affects one side of the lower body. To understand sciatica, we need to look at how the sciatic nerve is formed and its course in the body.
The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body. It is made up of the nerve roots that branch off of the spinal cord in the lower back. The sciatic nerve can become irritated for several reasons, including narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal, lumbar disc degeneration, muscle spasm in the lower back or buttocks, and irritation due to pregnancy.
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Sciatica Can Be Related to Atlas Misalignment
While this may not be the first thought that comes to mind, many cases of sciatica may start as a result of a spinal misalignment that happens at the very top of the neck. Your atlas (C1) vertebra bears the weight of the head, and also has the greatest range of motion of any other bone in the spine. Because of how freely movable it is, it is particularly prone to misaligning.
When this happens and the weight of the head is carried off-center, it forces the entire spine to compensate. This results in shoulders and hips that are uneven, which leads to abnormal muscle tension and unequal weight bearing from left to right. Over time, this can cause significant strain on the vertebrae and discs in the lower back, which can aggravate the sciatic nerve.
In order to address the cause of the sciatica, it is necessary to begin where the problem started – at the top of the neck. By doing so, we are not merely chasing around symptoms. We are looking to accomplish lasting results by getting to the root cause of the issue.
At Mountain State Wellness, we use an approach to upper cervical chiropractic care that is very gentle and effective. Once we are able to correct the position of the atlas, the compensations throughout the rest of the spine can clear up naturally, leading to relief that is more than just temporary.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.