How Merrick Chiropractors diagnose and treat sciatica


Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You may feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf. There may or may not be pain in the back .  The pain can be very severe and debilitating, or infrequent and irritating but can get worse. Other symptoms include weakness or numbness of the leg,or difficulty moving the leg. The cause of sciatica is pressure on the nerves in the lower back .The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is composed of individual nerve roots that start by branching out from the spine in the lower back and combine to form the “sciatic nerve.” The roots of the sciatic nerve start at the 3rd lumbar vertabra and continue to the 5th segment. These roots combine to form the large sciatic nerve which runs from the lower back down each leg. sciatica

6 most common causes of sciatica:

Lumbar disc herniations
Piriformis syndrome
Spinal stenosis

Muscle strain

Risk factors for sciatica:

Age-age related changes in the spine are the most common cause of sciatica

Obesity-as your weight increases you increase stress on the spine by 3:1 ratio

Prolonged sitting: Jobs that require prolonged sitting and are sedentary are a big risk

Occupation:  Jobs that require excessive twisting, lifting or long periods of driving can cause sciatica



Because sciatica is caused by an underlying condition treatment is directed at relieving the underlying cause of  the symptoms  When the Drs at Merrick Chiropractic diagnose the cause of your sciatica you will be treated for pain relief first.  This may involve heat, ice, ultrasound, EMS and flexion distraction.  Treatment for sciatica is multi faceted due to the complicated nature of the pain.  McKenzie exercise may be prescribed immediately to help centralize the leg pain, and additional proprioceptive exercise in the office may be done. once your sciatic pain is under control you will be given core strengthening exercises to stabilize the back and prevent further episodes of pain.

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