Sciatic nerve pain can extend through your buttocks and legs. The radiating discomfort may be similar to the sensation of a leg cramp, or it can be so sharp that using your leg becomes extraordinarily difficult.
The aching can become more pronounced when you take a seat, cough, or sneeze. The symptoms can arise immediately or gradually amplify over time. In other words, the experience of sciatica differs from person to person.
“You might also feel weakness, numbness, or a burning or tingling … sensation down your leg, possibly even in your toes,” noted the Cleveland Clinic. “Less common symptoms might include the inability to bend your knee or move your foot.”
What is causing your sciatica?
Sciatica can be caused by nerve impingement. If impingement occurs within the spinal column, that’s known within chiropractic as a subluxation – vertebral misalignment leading to pinching of the nerve. However, the nerve can be impinged beyond the spine as well, once it enters the leg.
Sciatic nerve pain often results from the following conditions:
· Disk herniation, in which the disk places pressure on the nerve root
· Piriformis syndrome, in which the piriformis muscle within the buttocks spasms or tightens, impinging the nerve
· Spinal stenosis, in which the spinal canal loses some of its width, constricting the nerves.
· Spondylolisthesis, in which a vertebra slides over the vertebra below it, also reducing the area through which the nerve can pass.
Why is sciatica pain so severe?
This sciatic nerve extends from a broad section of the sacral plexus, a nerve plexus within the sacrum and lumbar spine. The sciatic nerve is in fact a combination of two nerves, the common peroneal nerve and the tibial nerve. This nerve is bigger than any other, so it’s not surprising that it might become pinched and that the pain could be particularly intense.
“A bigger wire, so to speak, is easier to get stepped on, than a smaller one,” explained California-based Smith Family Chiropractic. “But, in your body, your nerves don’t get stepped on, they get caught in between things.”
What’s the best sciatica treatment?
When a chiropractor treats your sciatica, they are focused on minimizing your pain and maximizing your range of motion so you can move freely. Click here to watch businessman and father Rico Banez describe his experience with the centerpiece of our Spinal Rejuvenation Program, spinal decompression.