Sciatica is a condition that is characterized by pain in the low back or buttock region that travels down into one or both of the legs. The pain intensity and frequency can vary in patients suffering from sciatica. Pain is often described as sharp, electric shocks. Burning, numbness and tingling sensations are also often associated with sciatica.
Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve which is actually the longest and widest nerve in the human body. It supplies almost all of the skin of the leg, the muscles in the back of the thigh, as well as those of the leg and foot. Sciatica is often caused by misaligned lumbar (low back) vertebra, herniated disc(s), pregnancy and childbirth. A condition known as piriformis syndrome is an extremely common cause of sciatica. The piriformis is a muscle that is located in the lower back and connects to the upper part of the thigh. The sciatic nerve runs underneath the piriformis muscle; therefore, any type of piriformis muscle injury or tightness can lead to compression of the sciatic nerve.
It is of utmost importance to determine what the actual cause of the sciatica is so that the underlying cause can be addressed. Chiropractic treatment is extremely beneficial in relieving the symptoms associated with sciatica. The Spine Journal recently published a study concerning the effectiveness of chiropractic care in patients with acute back pain and sciatica. The study was a double blinded, randomized control trial involving 102 patients with sciatica symptoms. The patients were divided into two groups. One group received chiropractic manipulation 5 days per week, while the other group received “sham” (fake) adjustments. The results demonstrated that those receiving the actual chiropractic care improved much more than those with the sham adjustments. Of those receiving chiropractic adjustments, 55% stated that their pain was completely gone, while only 20% of those receiving the sham adjustments stated that their pain was completely gone.
The researchers concluded that “active manipulations have more effect than simulated manipulations on pain relief for acute back pain and sciatica.1”
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing symptoms like those described above come and see us at Irving Park Chiropractic Center. Dr. Lazarowich will perform a detailed history and physical examination on you so that the best treatment can be implemented.
1 Santilli, Valter, Ettore Beghi, and Stefano Finucci. “Chiropractic Manipulation in the Treatment of Acute Back Pain and Sciatica with Disc Protrusion: a Randomized Double-blind Clinical Trial of Active and Simulated Spinal Manipulations.” The Spine Journal 6.2 (March, 2006): 131-37.