Most Common Causes of Sciatica and Treatment Options

Sciatic Nerve Pain...Common causes and top treatment options!

That shooting pain that travels down the back of the leg…it often co-occurs with significant low back pain and can include numbness, tingling and weakness.

The Sciatic nerve is a combination of several nerves that leave the spine, join in the buttock area and travel down the back of the leg to provide muscular control to and sensory information from the lower extremities. There are several diagnoses that can cause Sciatic Pain; determining the cause is critical to improving health and relieving the discomfort.

A common cause of sciatic pain is simply a muscular issue. The sciatic nerve travels out of the pelvic area right under the Piriformis muscle. Inflammation and/or trigger points in the piriformis muscle can cause sciatic pain. For an unlucky few (about 10% of the population) the sciatic nerve actually travels through the belly of the piriformis muscle, making these people more susceptible to sciatic pain with muscle tightness.

Joint restrictions or misalignments, referred to by many chiropractors as subluxations, may cause sciatic-like pain; however, this cause will rarely send the pain shooting past the knee.

Another common cause of sciatic pain is a disc herniation. This diagnosis may cause electrical shooting pain all the way down the leg to the toes. A disc herniation may be characterized by numbness and tingling, may cause muscle weakness and atrophy, may be incredibly debilitating.

There are other pathologies that can cause sciatic pain but they are more rare than what is mentioned above. Research has shown that Chiropractic care is effective at relieving sciatic pain nearly 80% of the time. Surgical relief for sciatic pain is effective approximately 50% of the time. The American Medical Association recommends conservative care, such as Chiropractic, as the first treatment for low back and sciatic pain. If conservative care is not effective, your doctor may refer you for an MRI and/or surgical consult.

Remember, you can always have surgery if conservative care fails but you cannot take back a surgery. If your sciatic pain is accompanied by a loss of bowel or bladder control, you should go to the emergency room directly.

If stretching and relaxation techniques do not relieve your sciatic pain, come see the doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic. We will diagnose the cause of your pain and provide you with a treatment plan to help you on your path to wellness.  Call us today at 406-551-2177 for a free consult about your sciatic nerve pain!


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