Sciatica refers to pain that is caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve and is one of the most common types of back pain. In fact, it’s so common, many people make the mistake of a calling all lower back pain sciatica. According to Harvard Medical School, as many as 40% the adult population will deal with sciatic pain at some point in their life.
Your sciatic nerves are the two largest nerves in your body and are nearly as thick as your thumb. They exit your lower lumbar spine and then branch out through your buttocks, down the back of each leg and into the soles of your feet and finally into your big toes. When one of them becomes “pinched” or irritated, you can end up with pain anywhere along the branch of that nerve from the lower back, the buttocks, the back of your thigh or calf and even your foot. The pain can range from a low throb to a stabbing heat, numbness, tingling or a pain as strong as an electric shock. For some it’s an annoying ache but for others, the pain can be so intense it is hard to walk, stand or even sit comfortably and they find themselves bedridden.
Abnormal posture, a herniated disc and/or spastic and inflamed muscles in the low back or hips can irritate the sciatic nerve. Upper cervical care has tremendous success at helping to stabilize or eliminate postural imbalances, a functional short leg, disc bulges or herniations and of course, muscle tension or spasms. This is why upper cervical chiropractors have had success in alleviating the pain of sciatica.
We know it seems counter intuitive to seek out an upper cervical chiropractor to help with your sciatic pain. After all, our job is to gently correct misalignments in the upper neck, so how can your lower back pain be lessened this way?
Upper Cervical Chiropractic care focuses on spinal alignment and nerve function beginning the head and neck. Injuries in this area can lead to a shift in posture that will have consequences throughout the entire spine and body. As the body compensates in an attempt to balance itself and protect this vital area called the brain stem, your mid back, lower back, and hips can become involved. Muscles have to work harder to stabilize the spine and may become spastic or inflamed. Joints of the spine and hips may no longer align as they they were designed. The result (among many) can cause irritation to the sciatic nerve.
This is why many traditional physicians find it difficult to “treat” this problem because the symptoms may be far from the actual cause. This is also why stretches, injections or surgeries are often temporary if they help at all.
Jenny is a typical patient with sciatica that came to our office for help. Her pain had progressed from a tight low back to a dull ache in her buttocks to searing pain down her leg. She tried stretching, pain medication and was considering injections to get relief. After locating a misalignment in her neck (called the upper cervical spine) and gently correcting it, her body was able to rebalance over time. She is now pain free and able to enjoy activities like running that she thought she would have to give up permanently.
At Upper Cervical Care Glen Carbon, we will take 3D CT images and use precise instrumentation to locate any misalignments in neck that may be contributing to your low back issues. We will then use gentle adjustment to correct those misalignments. This can permit your body to return to a normal healthy posture, providing relief from sciatic nerve pain.
If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain or sciatic nerve pain, call us at Upper Cervical Care, Glen Carbon IL to schedule your free consultation 618-692-6992. #sciaticpainrelief #chiropractorglencarbon