Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Truth About Sciatica

Low back complaints account for 35-37% of the average number of office visits a chiropractic physician sees in a given month(1). Sciatica is a condition where people have pain in the low back and hip radiating down the back of the thigh and into the leg(1). This condition is often confused with many others by patients we see because there are several conditions a patient can have that can cause similar symptoms.

A common reason for this pain is a bulge/herniation of a lumbar intervertebral disc(2). This occurs when the disc between each vertebrae have damage to them and part of the disc presses onto the spinal nerve. This is a common occurrence with patients that engage in activities that have violent rotation or flexing of the vertebral column(2).

Sciatica can also be caused by another condition called peripheral nerve entrapment. This is a neuropathy disorder that has similar symptoms as sciatica:  prickling, burning, or jabbing pain along a nerve that is occasionally accompanied with weakness in the legs(3).  When this occurs, a muscle compress on the sciatic nerve and produces the sciatica symptoms. According to Dr. Michael Leahy, DC, creator of the Active Release Technique (ART), the most common sites for nerve entrapment with the sciatic nerve are(4):
        Deep to biceps femoris muscle
·         Between adductor magnus and semimembranosis/tendinosis muscles
·         Superior gamellus muscle
·         Piriformis muscle
·         Long dorsal sacral ligaments

We have an array of treatments available to our patients for this and other low back pain problems. Our office utilizes traditional chiropractic care, including Flexion and Distraction adjustments, as well as Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, Cold Laser Therapy, Shockwave Therapy, Ultrasound Therapy and Rehabilitation Exercises.

A select few of the other conditions that we see in our office that have symptoms that mimic bulging/herniated disc injuries are:
        Piriformis Syndrome
·         Facet Syndrome
·         Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
·         Lumbar Muscle Strain
·         Spondylolisthesis
·         Stenosis

Call (561) 313-9117 to schedule an appointment today to see how best we can diagnose and treat the cause of your sciatica pain.

       1)      Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor, 4th Ed.; Souza, Thomas S.; Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Pages 143-201
       2)      Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 5th Ed.; Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Moore, Keith L., Dalley, Arthur F. Pages 502-504.
       3)      Illustrated Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 3rd Ed.; Evans, Ronald C.; Mosby Elsevier Publishing; Page 144
       4)      Active Release Techniques Soft-Tissue Management System, 2nd Ed; Leahy DC, Michael
        Dr. Christopher Knapp, D.C.


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