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Friday, 17 June 2011

Several Causes of Sciatica

Most people know that Sciatica means you have pain that shoots down your leg.  However, many people are not aware there are several possible causes of Sciatica. 
The term "Sciatica" is a description of symptoms, not a clinical diagnosis.  Sciatica simply means there is an irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the major nerve that runs from the back down the back of your leg.  This nerve can be irritated by: disc herniation, joints in the low back, tight muscles, and other reasons.  Proper and specific diagnosis of the cause of Sciatica will direct specific treatment.
Recently, I saw a patient who presented with buttock and leg pain.  They were very concerned about having a disc herniation, and was very relieved when I found it was the piriformis muscle which was causing the sciatica.
Piriformis Syndrome can cause buttock and leg pain.  Another sign that the piriformis may be involved is relief when walking with your foot turned outward.  This is the case because externally rotating the hip will reduce the stretch of the piriformis, therefore irritation on the sciatic nerve. 
There are many physical tests, along with a detailed patient history, a Chiropractor can use to determine the cause of Sciatica.  Once a diagnosis is made the treatment would depend on the individual case, but may include: Myofascial Release, Spinal Manipulation, Medical Acupuncture, Custom Orthotics and Specific Exercises. 

Dr. Jeff Marshall, BScKin, DC, CSCS
For more information about Back Home Chiropractic, Visit or call 747-0844

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