Chiropractic, massage therapy or physiotherapy can all be very effective for relieving sciatica. Sciatica is impingement of the sciatic nerve, which can cause lower back pain, buttock or hip pain and leg pain. It can fell like dull localized aching pain or can be excruciating nerve pain that shoots down one or both legs. Like a lightning bolt down the back of the leg, ouch! Sciatica can be constant or intermittent and may also result in numbness and tingling in the foot and/or leg.
Sciatica can be due to a disk herniation or prolapse in the lumbar spine. SI joint misalignment or pelvic misalignment can cause sciatica. Piriformis Syndrome, a fancy way of saying your piriformis muscle is too tight, can also cause the symptoms of sciatica.
FYI disk herniations are very common and relatively normal. You can have a disk herniation and have absolutely no pain or symptoms. Cool eh? We could go down a pain science rabbit hole here but we’ll spare you that extra information for now.
You’re probably wondering why this happened to you. You were fine and then suddenly you weren’t fine, or perhaps it came on gradually. Sciatica very commonly happens after bending, lifting and twisting, especially if it was heavy. Perhaps some of the disk fibers were already under strain, but you didn’t feel it. Then you lifted that box, it may have not even been that heavy, which increased the load on your spine and pop went your disk. This protrusion of disk tissue can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and now you feel it. You really feel it.
Our job is to determine what’s putting pressure on that sciatic nerve and come up with a plan to offload it. Fortunately we have lots of tools in our toolkit to figure it out, provide you with the right treatment and send you home with some tools of your own. If you have neurological symptoms (numbness, tingling, pins and needles), there’s a higher likelihood that it is disk related. In that case, we would recommend starting with Chiropractic for Sciatica vs. Massage Therapy for Sciatica.
We are big on patient education, so expect to learn a bit about your body and what you can do to eliminate your pain and prevent it from happening again. We may find that there’s a muscle imbalance that was contributing to the strain on your disk or your SI joint and there are simple exercises you can do to balance things out.