If you are experiencing pain, tingling, or numbness shooting down the back of your leg, you may be among the many people suffering with a condition called sciatica. For some, the pain, tingling, or numbness stop in the buttock region. For others, it makes its way down to the back of the knee and can even travel all the way down to the feet and toes. While many have experienced this debilitating pain, it is often hard to understand how the pain, tingling, or numbness down the back of the leg is related to your spine. The reason lies in the anatomy of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is a nerve bundle running down the back of your leg with nerves from the lower part of your spine (L4-S3 nerve roots). The nerve roots within the sciatic nerve exit the spine through the neuroforamen. When a structural shift in the spine is present, two possibilities can happen: either the spinal bones compress the nerve directly, or the change in positioning of the bones will cause bulging or herniation of the disc, which will directly compress the nerve root. This compressed nerve root will cause one to feel the shooting sciatic pain. The sciatic nerve has two primary functions: controlling the muscles and the sensations to the skin in the leg. While proper function of the sciatic nerve is critical to many daily tasks such as walking, most people only pay attention to their sciatic nerve when they have pain shooting down their buttock and legs.
How does chiropractic help with sciatica?
It’s actually quite simple. Imagine driving in your car with one flat tire. The flat tire will not only cause the other tires to wear unevenly, but it’ll eventually damage the wheel alignment, tire axle, wheel frame, etc. The more you drive with a flat tire, the more damage is done. The same thing happens in the spine. When a structural shift in the spine is present, the weight distribution on the disc becomes uneven, similar to a flat tire. Over a period of time, the uneven weight distribution will eventually cause the disc to bulge and possibly even herniate, compressing the nerve leading to sciatica. Similar to inflating the flat tire back to it’s normal tire pressure, specific chiropractic adjustments will realign the bone back to it’s proper structural and functional position, normalizing the weight distribution on the disc, thereby decreasing and relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve exiting the spine. In fact, the alleviation of pressure can be seen on CT scans! A CT scan study of patients experiencing sciatica before and after chiropractic adjustments demonstrated a reduction in disc herniation. Additionally, the patients reported an increased ability to walk, stand, and lift with minimal issues.
Drs. Joshua and Daniel at Keystone Chiropractic have helped many individuals suffering with sciatica in the Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, and surrounding North Dallas communities. They focus specifically on neuro-structural chiropractic and use advanced technology to pinpoint the exact areas that need to be corrected. Allow Keystone Chiropractic to assist you in gaining victory over your sciatica. Live Better Now!