Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the human body and is formed by the union of 5 nerve roots from the lower spine (L4-S3). This condition commonly occurs when the nerve roots are irritated or compressed due to conditions such as disc herniations, spinal stenosis or spinal degeneration. The pain, if untreated, has the potential to worsen over time and may become debilitating. The most distinctive sign of sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower back into your thighs, back or side of your legs and into the foot. You can expect numbness, tingling, or weakness in your leg or foot. The pain may be aggravated by twisting, bending or coughing/sneezing.
Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica?
- Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock, down the back of your legs
- Pain that gets worst with movement
- Varying pain from a mild ache, to a sharp, burning sensation, to excruciating
- A jolt or electric shock feeling
- Numbness/tingling/weakness on the affected side
Causes of Sciatica?
- Lumbar (lower back) bulging disc or herniated disc
- Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the lower spinal canal)
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Manual therapy/Spinal Manipulation
- Spinal Decompression Therapy