To understand sciatica, you first need to understand the low back. The sciatic nerve has its origins in the spinal cord and is formed by the nerve roots that branch off from the lumbar spine, the 5 lowest vertebrae in the spine. The sciatic nerve travels from the lower back, through the buttock, then extends down the back of each leg to the foot and ankle. Sciatica is an irritation of this nerve somewhere along its course, and this irritation can be extraordinarily painful.
Sciatica has a few more common causes:
- Herniated disc – a bulging or ruptured disc can press against the nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve
- Spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal that houses the spinal cord can compress the sciatic nerve
- Arthritis – degeneration can cause bone spurs that can pinch nerves associated with sciatica.
Relieving sciatica symptoms can be difficult. Sometimes, over-the-counter painkillers aren’t enough to take the edge off the pain if it’s severe. Avoiding sitting is also recommended, which isn’t always possible in many instances when a person’s work requires it.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book
Getting at The Root Cause of Sciatica Symptoms
While it may be very simple to assume that sciatica sufferers have a primary problem with their lower back, many times that isn’t the case. The lower back can be a big area of compensation for spinal issues in the neck. When the atlas, the topmost vertebra in the spine, misaligns, it sets off a domino effect of compensations throughout the spine. A small misalignment of the atlas can lead to a tilt of the head and uneven shoulders and hips, causing abnormal muscle tension and spasm in the mid and lower back. While the pain may all be centered on the low back, buttock and thigh, the actual source of the problem can be elsewhere. This becomes a problem since a general chiropractic approach will often miss this important fact.
At Mountain State Wellness, we utilize the NUCCA technique, a very specific and gentle approach to correcting atlas misalignments. Many people are initially surprised to learn that their sciatica has its origins in the neck and are relieved to have finally found an approach that will address the cause and not just the symptoms. If you’ve tried a general chiropractic approach without any success, our practice may be the perfect fit for you!
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.