the-overlooked-but-frequent-cause-of-sciaticaThousands of patients are seeking sciatica relief in Blue Ash, Ohio. Sciatica is the number one cause of low back pain in many people. What makes it different from ordinary back pain is that its pain extends into the buttocks, hips, back of the thigh and foot. 

Sciatica is the pain that develops due to the irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. It is common in adults between the ages of 30 to 50. The pain of sciatica can range from mild discomfort to severe stabbing pain.  

The Role of the Sciatic Nerve

The biggest and longest nerve in the body is none other than the sciatic nerve. It is a combination of nerves that stem from the lowest lumbar vertebrae (L4 and L5) and the bone at the base of the spine (sacrum). The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, all the way through the buttock, and down the back of each leg. 

Throughout the body are various nerves that do crucial jobs, often enabling movements and facilitating sensation or feeling. As for the sciatic nerve, it connects the central nervous system to the skin of the legs (allowing sensation) and muscles in the back of the leg, thigh, and foot (allowing movement). 

Sciatica Signs and Symptoms

The leading symptom of sciatica is pain that can either be burning, searing, or shooting. The pain can affect the areas where the sciatic nerve lies, from the lower back to the foot. Besides the pain, other symptoms of sciatica are:

  • Numbness or tingling in the leg
  • Weakness or inability to move the leg or foot
  • Pain that gets worse when sitting
  • Difficulty standing up due to the pain

Sciatica commonly only affects one side of the body.  Every patient may experience these symptoms differently, and its quality may even change from day to day. 

Likely Underlying Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica may happen due to multiple reasons. Some of the frequent causes of sciatica are:

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant can experience sciatica as the position or weight of the baby can add pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Disc herniation

The inner nucleus of the discs can cut through its outer fibrous layers. As a result, it pushes into the root of the sciatic nerve or the spinal cord itself. Sciatica develops because of it.

Lumbar spinal stenosis

When the spinal canal that houses the spinal cord narrows down, it can compress the nerves that branch off the lower back down into the legs. 

Degenerative disc disease

The discs sandwiched in between your lower back vertebrae can weaken over time. As a result, it irritates or compresses the nerve root, which leads to sciatica.

Spondylolisthesis

Also described by many as “slipped disc,” spondylolisthesis refers to the condition where a vertebra slips forward over the other vertebra below it. This narrows down the spinal canal and adds pressure to the nerve roots. 

Piriformis syndrome

The piriformis muscle sits in the buttock region. It may endure spasm or injury, resulting in the compression of the sciatic nerve located just right beside it. In some cases, the sciatic nerve penetrates the piriformis muscle and runs through it, worsening the nerve compression.

Sciatica Can Originate in the Neck

It may seem far-fetched that sciatica, which often affects the lower back, can have its root cause in the neck. However, this is a fact. Let us explain to you how it happens. 

Let’s begin by going over how your neck and back team up to keep your head’s balance. Your head keeps its balance and straightness thanks to the atlas vertebra. Not only that, but it also allows the head to move freely in any direction. The atlas has a unique shape that enables it to do its job. 

Among the rest of the vertebrae of the spine, the atlas is also the most vulnerable to misaligning. It occurs when it experiences wear and tear or suffers from an injury. When the head is no longer in a neutral position or right balance, the parts underneath it would be forced to shift and twist. 

This is the reason you may notice your head tilted a bit to one side, or your shoulders are uneven. This imbalance can later result in uneven wear on joints, unequal muscle tension, and the many causes of sciatica.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Holds the Key to Sciatica Relief in Blue Ash

The irritation of the sciatic nerve will persist until the atlas returns to its proper position. After the correction of the atlas misalignment, the imbalances of the head and the rest of the body that contribute to sciatica will no longer exist. 

Taking care of the atlas, the crucial piece of the puzzle, can bring lasting relief to many sciatica patients. This is possible with upper cervical chiropractic care. It is a form of chiropractic that focuses on the atlas alone. It adjusts the atlas so that it is in proper alignment with the head and the rest of the spine. Doing so can ease the pressure in these parts. 

Cincinnati Upper Cervical and Family Chiropractic is a trusted sciatica treatment clinic in Blue Ash, Ohio. We utilize the Blair Upper Cervical technique. Our scientific and gentle approach does more than surface-level symptom management. Instead, we get to the bottom of sciatica and many other chronic health conditions you may have.

Set an appointment with Dr. Brent A. Owens through our web form or call 513-891-7746 to start receiving upper cervical chiropractic care.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/sciatica-symptoms