The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs down the back of the leg all the way to the bottom of the foot. It divides into several smaller nerves and originates from the spine at the level of the low back. It passes under the piriformis muscles, which lies under the gluteus maximus muscle on its way down the leg. Sciatica often correlates with low back pain. Irritation of the sciatic nerve at any point along its path is most commonly referred to as "sciatica".
Impingement of the sciatic nerve can happen at several locations. The two most common are where the nerve originates in the spine and at the piriformis muscle where the nerve travels underneath.
Our chiropractor uses several specific methods to analyze and determine where the nerve impingement may be coming from. Through a thorough case history review, a complete spinal examination, orthopedic and neurological testing, Dr. Elwart can determine how to correctly identify the problem. X-rays may also be taken to determine if the spine is out of alignment and causing "pinching" of the sciatic nerve.
Chiropractic treatment has proven to be a very effective treatment for sciatica. Our chiropractor uses a combined approach of corrective chiropractic adjustments and restorative Active Release muscle work to treat the sciatica problem. Treatment of the muscle alone will likely only provide temporary relief of the sciatica, because the muscles attach to the bones. If the bones are misaligned, an imbalance of muscle tension occurs. Likewise, only correcting the joint or bone will provide temporary relief, because the muscles being out of balance will cause unequal tension on the bone causing misalignment.
Give Dr. Elwart a call today to see if he can help with your sciatica.