Sciatica is the name for a syndrome which is characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body,it is as thick as one of your fingers where it arises in the lower spine. It then travels from your lower back through your hip and buttock and down your leg where it divides into two branches at the knee. Each leg has its own sciatic nerve.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The pain from sciatica is felt along the sciatic nerve and can be felt deep in the buttock, with pain that travels down the back of the leg, sometimes to the foot. The pain can be accompanied by tingling, ‘pins and needles’, or numbness, and sometimes by muscular weakness in the leg.
Sciatica is usually felt in only one leg at a time. Sometimes, a sensation like an electric shock can be felt along the nerve. The pain can range from a mild ache to incapacitating pain. Sciatica pain is often felt when you sneeze, cough, go to the toilet, or when you’re sitting, and may be accompanied by lower back pain. If you lose control of your bladder or bowels or you have severe pain, weakness of your muscles, or numbness, seek medical attention immediately.
What is the cause of the pain? Herniated disk
ne of the most common causes of sciatica is a herniated disk. Herniated means bulge or stick out. Intervertebral disks are the spongy disks that form a cushion between the vertebrae of the spine. The disks have a strong outer layer made of cartilage, with a soft gelatinous centre that acts as a shock absorber. If the outer layer of the disk becomes weak, through age or injury, the soft centre can bulge out through the weakness this is what’s known as a herniated or ruptured disk.
If any of the 5 pairs of nerve roots that form the origin of the sciatic nerve are compressed in the spine by a ruptured disk they can give rise to pain down the sciatic nerve. Not only does a herniated disk press on the nerve root, but chemicals leaking from the soft centre of the disk irritate the nerve root, causing inflammation.
Many other muscles and joints can mimic sciatica so many people may think they have sciatica but fortunately it can be treated easily after the correct diagnosis is obtained.
Your Central City chiropractor will take a detailed history of your pain as well as medical history. Along with the results from a detailed physical examination involving the neuromusculoskeletal system they will be able to diagnosis the cause of your sciatica. Further investigations including Xray, CT or MRI may be required to get the full picture and a more definite diagnosis.
At Perth cbd chiropractic clinic (formally central city chiropractors) Sciatica, is one of the more common symptoms we see, so let our experts assess and diagnosis the cause of your pain. If you have any questions regarding leg pain or sciatica please call Perth cbd chiropractic clinic (formally central city chiropractors) on 94868653 and a chiropractor will be happy to answer any queries you may have.