Q: I have nagging severe pain in my leg all day that seems to come from my back or butt and my dad tells me that it is sciatica. What is sciatica and can a chiropractor help?

A: Sciatica (pron. si-AT-uh-cuh) is a condition that causes shooting pain in the leg. The condition is named after the sciatic nerve, which branches off the spinal cord in the lower back, runs through the buttock, down the back of the leg and into the calf and foot. The condition can also cause a variety of other symptoms, including tingling, numbness, burning, aching and weakness in the leg, all ranging from the mild to the extremely painful.

The pain comes when the nerve becomes inflamed, usually as a result of compression. The compression could come as a result of a deteriorating disc, a misalignment in the spine or pressure from a muscle. The piriformis muscle, which runs through the buttock, is capable of pinching the nerve and commonly is the culprit as in 50% of us the sciatic nerve runs directly through the muscle?

Sciatica is a condition that responds very well to chiropractic therapy. A chiropractor’s manipulation of the spine and loosening tight muscles can take pressure off the nerve and ease symptoms considerably. The chiropractor may use x-rays, an MRI or an EMG—an electromyogram, which tests the function of muscles and nerves—to help diagnose the problem. Treatment should include manual therapies or massage to loosen up the muscle and physical therapy to help you know how to manage the problem and the cause as it frequently reoccurs. If the treatment is not helping because the sciatic pain is from a disc herniation, the chiropractor can help you find the right surgeon to talk with and see if you need surgery – but this should only be considered after conservative treatment like chiropractic has failed. If you suffer with the discomfort of sciatica—or any other nagging condition—visit a chiropractor.

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Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!

Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!