The sciatic nerve is a big one, made up of a bundle of smaller nerves that come from the lumbar spine and the sacrum, joining up and moving through a narrow canal in the pelvis and down the leg. It’s responsible for a lot of the movement and sensation that occurs in the leg. Sciatica is a condition that results in pain or numbness, usually down the back of the leg, sometimes stopping at the knee, and sometimes continuing down into the foot.
It can be terribly painful! Your friendly neighborhood Tacoma Chiropractor, yours truly, suffered from bilateral sciatica for many years. That means I had shooting pain down both legs, and all when I was only nineteen years old. It didn’t clear up until I had the right combination of exercise and chiropractic care. It’s something that I see often at Brilliant Life Chiropractic, and I have great success in helping people heal through it.
It can be caused by a number of different things, but some of the more common ones are pregnancy and a tight piriformis muscle.
Pregnancy causes a relaxing of all the soft tissues that hold joints together. And while relaxing can sound nice, allowing joints to become lax is not. When that happens, the bones and other soft tissues can impinge the sciatic nerve, causing that pain to travel down the butt, into the leg, and sometimes into the foot. As if you needed something else to interfere with your body!
Tight piriformis muscles can result from sitting too much, or being involved in athletics. So, either too little or too much activity can cause this. Massage is something that can help on the short term, but chiropractic can get to the root of it, which is usually a misaligned sacrum, one of the bones in the pelvis. When you get stressed, either from the chronic inactivity of sitting on your butt, or from whatever sport you’re engaged in (mine was martial arts) it can cause the sacrum to rotate, putting pressure on that nerve by collapsing the space it travels through.
If you’ve got sciatica, don’t just take a pain reliever, come on in today!