Sciatica is the medical term for pain running down the back of the leg – that doesn’t come from the leg itself but from the nerve pathway that supplies the leg. In reality sciatica or sciatic pain is a ‘symptom’ not a ‘condition’ because there are many possible causes of sciatic pain.
Many people call their chiropractor of osteopath when they have a mild ache in the back of their thigh as part of their back ‘playing up’ – which is usually very easy to treat. If you can still sleep comfortably, are not crying down the phone to your chiropractor, and you walk around pretty normally you don’t have true sciatica. This common ache in the back of the leg from the back is ‘referred pain’ not true sciatica.
True sciatica has the characteristics of ‘nerve pain’ – very intense, very deep – often burning pain, down the back of the leg, which tends to put your life on hold. If you have this type of pain there is almost certainly pressure on a nerve somewhere deep in and around your spine or pelvis.
Treating true sciatica successfully is a job that’s based on the ability to identify the underlying cause. If we can figure out what’s causing it we can usually find a way to relieve it – luckily this is what chiropractors are trained to do.
The list of possible underlying causes includes disc injuries, muscle spasm in the hip and degenerative joints in the low back to name but a few. Getting the right tests done is the key to solving the painful mystery – and we often find we can identify and treat without the need for x rays and scans.
If you are suffering from leg pain sciatic or otherwise and would like some relief feel free to call us. We will do our very best to make you an appointment as soon as possible at our chiropractors office because we know how unpleasant it can be.