The sciatic nerve is the continuation of the spinal cord and higher up the brain. It is the job of the brain to send and receive messages to the lower limbs through the sciatic nerve.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a pain syndrome which causes pain along the distribution of the sciatic nerve. This includes pain of the lower back, hip, buttock and leg. Sciatica is often accompanied by numbness and tingling in the buttock, leg and foot.
Cause of sciatica
Traditionally, sciatica was thought to be caused by bulging discs of the lumbar spine. The understanding was that these bulged discs would put pressure on the sciatic nerve causing low back pain, numbness, pain and tingling down the buttock and into the leg. This has also been referred to as a pinched nerve.
The real cause of sciatica
The latest research on sciatica is starting to show that bulging discs putting pressure on the sciatic nerve is not the direct cause of sciatica, but more a contributing factor - that sciatica is a much more global condition, dealing in particular with stretch of the spinal cord as a whole.
Because the sciatic nerve and the spinal cord are the same thing, if your spinal cord is stretched, so too is your sciatic nerve. Your spinal cord is protected by the spine. If the spine is balanced and upright, the spinal cord will have a clear path making it loose, flexible and under no stretch or tension. But if your spine and posture is unbalanced, forward, twisted, rigid or tight, the spinal cord will be stretched.
When the spinal cord is stretched, the sciatic nerve will also be stretched, causing pain. This, in combination with things like bulged discs, spinal degeneration and tight muscles, is the real culprit for sciatica.
A new approach to correcting sciatica
At PostureHQ Chiropractic we take a much more holistic approach to sciatica. Using a new method of chiropractic known as Advanced BioStructural Correction™ we are able to correct your unbalanced spinal structure reducing the global tension of the spinal cord which results in decreased tension and stretch of the sciatic nerve. Reducing the stretch or tension of the spinal cord and sciatic nerve provides great symptomatic pain relief and reduces the likelihood of long-term relapses.
We have had great success with many clients of all ages and body types who have had long-term sciatica and who have tried other methods of therapy with minimal results.