Sciatica is as tricky and deceptive as a sly magician: Sciatic pain often alters between severe and constant to mild and intermittent; can affect one leg, both, or switch from side to side; and it may even masquerade as low-back pain for months until more characteristic sciatic pain begins.
Although, sciatic pain is generally in the legs, Dr. Smith wants patients to understand that the root cause is often compression of the sciatic nerve root, which is the beginning of the sciatic nerve as it exits the spinal cord in the low back.
Nerve root compression is frequently the result of one of the two conditions: vertebral subluxation (misalignment of spinal bones) or sacroiliac subluxation (misalignment of pelvic bones). When the spinal or pelvic bones are even slightly out of place, spinal movement is restricted, which in turn irritates the muscles, discs and nerve root — causing pain.
Other causes of sciatic nerve compression include herniated spinal discs and piriformis syndrome (inflammation of the piriformis muscle in the buttocks).
Often, more than one of these four causes occur simultaneously, so it is vital to identify and address all factors. The good news is that research shows that chiropractic care is effective at alleviating all four of the common causes of sciatic pain.