What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is the most common name for radiculopathy or a painful sciatica nerve.
The sciatic nerve is when the L4-S3 Spinal Nerves connect together to form one large nerve about the size on your thumb! This bundled nerve exits the pelvis through the greater sciatic notch, crosses over the piriformis and runs down the back of the leg.
Scaitica means the collective nerve bundle creating the sciatic nerve is experiencing pain. This can occur in the as the nerve exits the lumbar spine, in the pelvis, as it cross the piriformis on anywhere down the back of the leg.
What does the Sciatic Nerve Do?
The sciatic nerve supplies the muscles of the lower leg in the calf, ankle and muscles behind the knee. In the foot the sciatic nerve is responsible for touch sensation to the back of leg, calf, ankle and the bottom of the foot.
Sciatica, Sciatic Nerve Pain and Radiculopathy are all the same thing
Scaitica vs Radiculopathy
These terms can be confusing, but they basically mean the same thing for practical purposes. Sciatica by definition means a painful, inflamed sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve pain starts being noticed it’s referred to as sciatica.
Radiculopathy of the sciatic nerve implies that the sciatic nerve is being compression by a structure such as a herniated disc, thus creating sciatic nerve damage. This compression creates sciatic nerve pain, which is referred as sciatica.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Common Symptoms of Sciatica include:
- Lower back pain
- Numbness, weakness or pins and needles in the leg or foot.
- Pain is buttocks that’s worse with sitting
- Sharp shoot leg pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- Hip Pain
Most commonly missed symptoms of sciatica include
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Calf Pain
- Hamstring pain and stiffness
- Achilles Pain
What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the lumbar and sacral nerves as the exits the spinal canal to travel down the leg.
Other Common Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain include
- Lumbar herniated disc, slipped disc or bulging disc
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (spinal canal narrowing)
- Lower Back Spasm
- Sciatic nerve stiffness (decreased ability to stretch)
- Spinal dominant movement patterns (should be hips)
- Poor core function, strength and endurance.
How is Sciatica Treated?
At Dean’s Sports Therapy a treatment program is tailor made to meet your specific diagnosis. Once the cause of the sciatic nerve pain is identified (first visit), treatment will quickly eliminate the pain.
Common Sciatica Treatment and preventative approaches include:
- Nerve flossing and sliding via Neurodynamics (sciatic nerve stretches)
- Stecco Fascial Manipulation from Italy ( Tight muscle treatment)
- Dermal Traction Method Co-Invented by Dr. Dean ( Pinched nerve in the skin treatment)
- Fascial Distortion Method ( reverse scar tissue)
- Osteopathic Joint Pumping and Fascial Normalization
- Physical Therapy
- Core Training to increase spinal endurance
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Spinal Decompression
- Pinched Nerve Relief
2 years of sciatica gone in one visit!
Sciatica Stretches at Home
I thought I would include a quick video on one way to stretch the sciatic nerve. This is a simple exercise that anyone can do at home.
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