Sciatic pain can be anything from just a nuisance to a debilitating pain. I can also be caused by many different things, which is why it’s also best to have a doctor diagnose the cause. We are going to take a look at some of the most common causes and what you can do to find relief from your sciatic pain.
By far, the most common cause of sciatic pain is a tight or spasm’d piriformis muscle. This muscle acts as a pelvic stabilizer, assists in abduction of the leg and leg rotation. The sciatic nerve can get compressed and pinched by this muscle, when the muscle gets too tight. This muscle tension can be caused by many things, the most usual of which is spending too much time sitting; such as sitting at a computer all day or taking frequent, long road trips. This muscle tension can also be caused by problems in the lower back, poor posture, an abnormal gait due to another injury, sitting with your legs crossed, exercising without stretching, etc. When you visit our clinic, we can help determine if this is the cause of your sciatic pain and can help you identify and correct the underlying cause of the muscle tension.
The following stretches are good for relieving tension or spasm of the piriformis muscle, and in many cases can relieve your sciatic pain: (It is always best to come in, so we can make sure you are doing the stretches correctly)
How can chiropractic help sciatica?
We’ve discussed how sciatica can be caused by piriformis muscle tension, and some of the causes for that tension. When the sacroiliac joint is subluxated (more on that here), the muscles that function as movers and stabilizers for that joint can get over-worked, and over-worked muscles can get very tight. As chiropractors, we correct this issue through spinal adjustments. We also provide physical therapy to help the muscle relax, heal and strengthen in order to prevent recurrence of this disorder.
Lumbar spinal subluxations or sacroiliac subluxations can also put pressure on nerves that contribute to the sciatic nerve bundle. Compression of these nerves as they exit the spinal column can also lead to sciatic pain. These subluxations can cause either direct pressure on the nerves or indirect pressure by causing inflammation (swelling) in the area, which in turn puts pressure on the nerve. This is more difficult to treat than sciatica caused by the piriformis muscle, as stretching and medication usually does not completely or permanently alleviate the symtpoms, such as pain and numbness traveling down the leg.
Conventional medicine would provide muscle relaxers, pain killers and anti-inflammatories. This only treats the symptoms, though…. which is great, who wants to be in pain, right! Well, what about the underlying issue that caused the inflammation, muscle spasms and pain? Sorry, that problem is still there, and is likely to cause symptoms again and may lead to further or worsening issues down the road.
At Dynamic Spine & Rehab, we find and correct the underlying cause for sciatica and will even help you develop lifestyle changes to prevent having this problem again. Call us today for a FREE consultation!