Learn About Sciatica

Sciatica is the presence of pain in the lower extremities of the thigh, leg, and buttock. Our lower body is supplied by a large nerve known as the sciatic nerve, which is formed from a bunch of smaller nerves leaving the spinal cord. Once the small nerves unite, the sciatic nerve moves through the buttock, thigh and the leg to supply the region.

It can get pressed against any underlying structures like bones or joints along its course through the lower body, which causes the pain in Sciatica.

Though lower back pain is a prevalent condition that is seen in around 80–90% of the population during their lifespan, cases of true sciatica are only seen in about 5% of the population. It is more common in individuals aged between 30 and 50 years. Sciatica is also known as “lumbar radiculopathy”.

Sciatica Pain - Symptoms

Here are some of the obvious signs and symptoms of Sciatica that you should be wary of:

Pain

This pain is a jolting sensation like an electric shock that starts with a cough, sneeze or sitting for a long period of time on one side of the body.

Loss of Bowel and Bladder Function

Sciatica can put pressure on the nerves around the bowel and bladder, resulting in a loss of control over bodily functions.

Inflammation and swelling

Inflammation, swelling, and redness of the affected areas are all common symptoms of sciatica.

Joint weakness in a single leg

This is a red flag for sciatica. Pain or weakness in just one of the flags is a telltale symptom of sciatica.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica takes place if the sciatic nerve is irritated or pinched. This can occur for numerous reasons. The most common causes involve:

Degenerative disc disease

Although disc degeneration is a natural occurrence with ageing, in some cases one or more degenerated discs in the lower back can cause sciatica. Bone spurs within spinal degeneration can also irritate the sciatic nerve and cause in sciatica.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis

The resulting disc collapse, fracture, and vertebral body slippage that come with isthmic spondylolisthesis can pinch the nerve and cause sciatica.

Lumbar spinal stenosis

Narrowing of the spinal canal results in Sciatica with lumbar spinal stenosis. This is commonly seen in people older than 60.

Piriformis syndrome

If the piriformis muscle irritates or pinches the sciatic nerve, it can result in Sciatica-like pain.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Irritation of the sacroiliac joint can also pinch the L5 nerve near the joint, resulting in sciatica-like pain.

Lumbar herniated disc

A herniated lumbar disc can irritate or pinch the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is the most common symptom of a lumbar herniated disc.

Pregnancy, scar tissue, muscle strain, spinal tumour, infection, fracture, ankylosing spondylitis or any lower back injury can cause Sciatica. It can sometimes occur in some people without any underlying cause. When the cause of it occurring is not known, it is known as idiopathic Sciatica.

If the pain is caused by direct injury or irritation of the nerve, it is called true Sciatica. And if the pain is similar to Sciatica but the underlying cause is not relevant to the sciatic nerve, it is known as Sciatica-type pain.

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How Our Chiropractors Can Help with Sciatica?

Since muscle movement and strength are an important part of sciatica treatment and improvement, we suggest some light exercises to help with the recovery. Once the assessment by the chiropractor is completed, you should have a better idea of the next step. Dr. Amrit or Dr. Mirek are skilled chiropractors with great experience dealing with sciatica pain. Both use techniques that proved to be very effective with sciatica pain.

Massaging and stretching the area affected is one way to approach it but there are also other techniques and modalities that help as a sciatica treatment.

Prevention

  • Practice proper lifting techniques
  • Reduce or stop cigarette smoking, which promotes disc degeneration
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles of your back and abdomen
  • Use good posture when sitting, standing, and sleeping
  • Avoid sitting for long periods

Our Testimonials

"This is my first time seeking chiropractic services and I have been very impressed with Pillars of Wellness. I have found them to be very caring, professional and knowledgeable. I have had severe back pain for quite a while. Within a few weeks, my chiropractor was able to reduce my pain quite a lot so that I could finally get through a day without constant pain. After a couple of months, I am more and more pain-free and plan to continue with Pillars of Wellness." Linda Dwyer

"I have been recommended to go to Pillars of Wellness because I suffered from a recent injury resulting from outdoor activities. The whole staff are very professional and very caring. Great Chiropractor! Very diligent and went above and beyond for me. Never charged me for the extra time she spent with me. She suggested combining my treatment with her, doing Acupuncture which was done by a Naturopath. After a few sessions, my pain has reduced considerably. I strongly recommend Pillars of Wellness. They are compassionate and worked collaboratively to help me get better and faster. Thank you so much!" - Arthur Portmann

Why Pillars of Wellness?

At Pillars of Wellness, in Burlington, Ontario, we are proud to provide a truly integrated care approach that employs a variety of treatments to achieve a faster recovery. Our clinic offers various services such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, naturopathy, counselling, occupational therapy, yoga therapy, acupuncture, and holistic nutrition.

With multiple services and specialties in one place, you’ll get the best care possible — without having to look elsewhere. Pillars of Wellness is your one-stop-health solution, located right here in Burlington.

Last but not least, chiropractic is typically covered under most extended health insurance plans. If you do not have coverage or have exceeded your coverage limits, you can consult with our Physiotherapists.