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11 Kings Hill, Great Cornard,
Sudbury, CO10 0EH

Sciatica

Sciatica and Treatment

Sciatica is a distracting pain that begins in the lower back and extends down one or both legs.

Follow this link for more details on: Lower Back Pain

Direct pressure on the nerve causes a dull ache into the leg and depending on the amount of pressure, it can cause muscle weakness and even a dead leg feel. If the disc material leeks out through the deranged disc, it can cause the surrounding tissue including the nerve root to become inflamed.

low back pain and sciatica

The S1 nerve is usually affected as it exists between the lowest vertebrae and the pelvis. This disc is the most commonly damaged and bulged.

The S1 nerve goes all the way to the foot and the person can have altered sensations along any part of or the whole distribution of the nerve.

Typical weakness would be weakness when trying to stand on tip toes on the affected side. The reflex at the heel (Achilles tendon reflex) can be slow weak or absent.

How We Treat Low Back Pain and Sciatica at Our Clinic

Our first priority is to get the person out of pain.  

This usually entails placing the patient on wedges to take pressure off the disc.  As soon as the wedges are placed in the correct way the patient almost always reports a great relief of pain.  We would then apply ice to decrease inflammation. The patient would be instructed on how to care for the back at home and to how to take pressure of the disc. This will aid them into quicker recovery and help a lot with the discomfort while we wait for the initial inflammation to subside. The patient usually feels a lot easier by the time they leave our clinic.

On the second visit, after about 3-4 days.

At this stage the patient should feel a a lot better. If the patient can tolerate treatment, we would try and start returning the spines natural movement. This can be done by adjusting the spine by hand or using an instrument and wedges. Treatment will depend on the severity of pain and on the patients’ preference or comfort. 

Exercises and further instruction would be given on how to care for their back.

As soon as the patient can tolerate light stabilization exercises, we would show them how to exercise the back to make it more resilient and fitter while we return as much of the natural mobility to the spine through very specific adjustments.  (Adjustments are described here link)

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you get sciatica?

Sciatica is often the result of cumulative trauma to the disc space between one of the lower vertebrae. This cumulative trauma often takes place over years and then one day a person bends over to pick up something they dropped, and it triggers an episode.
Only the back third of the disc has any pain sensitive nerve fibres which are capable of detecting pain.
Only once the damage to the disc has progressed sufficiently to reach the back third of the disc, do you experience lower back pain from a disc. Further damage can now cause the disc to bulge pushing tissue against the sciatic nerve which results in sciatica.
There are other scenarios causing sciatica, but the condition described above is the most common. Any condition that causes any touching of the nerve results in sciatica.

How much chiropractic care will be needed?

Most of our patients are delighted with the results they get after weeks or months of care. Naturally, this varies from patient to patient and their ability to adhere to their rehabilitation plan.

What if I don’t remember any ‘trauma’?

This is a common refrain. Our bodies are very adaptive and we can accommodate cumulative stresses over many years before something 'gives'. Finally, like the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” we turn or bend awkwardly and suddenly our spine succumbs to the accumulated of stress.