Sciatica: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Our Austin Chiropractic Team Offers a Comprehensive Approach to Sciatica Treatment

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerves. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the human body, running from the lower back through the back of the leg, knee and down to the toes. There are three primary causes of sciatica: degeneration of the spine, herniated or bulging discs and trigger points along the piriformis muscle. All three of these conditions can cause inflammation, swelling, pain and numbness from the buttocks, down into the knee and even the calf and toes.

sciatica symptoms causes and treatment by austin chiropractor

Anyone suffering from sciatica, leg pain or nerve pain that shoots down the leg should consult with an Austin chiropractor who has experience identifying the true cause. There are 3 primary causes of sciatica which include degeneration of the spine, herniated discs or bulging discs and piriformis syndrome (aka pseudo-sciatica).

In addition, Austin Chiropractor Dr. Daniel states that “Although pain associated with sciatica can be debilitating and severe, most cases will self resolve within a few weeks.”

However, if anyone is suffering from leg pain, pins and needles and weakness, it's best to get a chiropractic examination and or consult to rule out any significant damage or potential for long term irreversible damage.

Sciatica Symptoms

The most common symptom is pain that radiates down the leg. People who suffer from sciatica usually experience discomfort along the entire nerve (from the low back, down the leg, into the knee, calf and toes).

This is an important distinction between other conditions such as piriformis syndrome, hip pain and bursitis.

The type of pain someone may experience can range from mild aches, to sharp, shooting and burning pain throughout the leg. In addition, this pain can be made worse when coughing, sneezing or sitting for long periods of time. It's also important to recognize that sciatica is usually one sided.

Finally, people suffering may also experience numbness, pins and needles, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg and foot.

Symptoms include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
  • Hip pain
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the rear
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed.

While there are dozens of reasons why the sciatic nerve gets compressed, it is usually caused by spine degeneration (spine arthritis and bone spurs), herniated discs or bulging discs and/or piriformis syndrome.

More rare is the fact that nerves can be compressed by tumors or other diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis. In addition, there are certain risk factors which include being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels and not maintaining flexibility.

Sciatica Diagnosis

A physical exam is the best place to start with diagnosing sciatica.

Austin Chiropractor Dr. Daniel, likes to start his assessments by evaluating your

  • Body Composition (body fat, muscle mass hydration status, height and weight)
  • Digital Posture Analysis
  • Muscle Strength and Reflex Testing
  • Digital X-ray

During this exam you may be asked to walk on your toes or heels, rise from a squatting position and or perform various tests while laying down.

Other diagnostic tests to consider would include MRI, CT scan and potentially EMG. However, our Austin chiropractic clinic has experience helping and successfully treating sciatia before having to resort to these more costly exams.

Sciatica Treatment

Treatment will ultimately depend on the cause.

According to WebMD, Chiropractic Care is great for back pain and sciatica.

Usually, if someone doesn't improve with self-care and home exercises, our Austin Chiropractor will suggest a combination of treatments that would include:

Natural Supplements

There are a variety of natural supplements that can be prescribed that will reduce inflammation and relax your muscles.

Physical Therapy 

Once a patient is over the acute phase of care, our Austin chiropractic clinic can continue to prescribe physical therapy exercises to help correct faulty posture, strengthen the muscles supporting your back and improve flexibility.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments are hands down the best, safest and most conservative treatments for back pain or sciatica.

The European Spine Journal published findings from a clinical trial uncovering how chiropractic adjustments resulted in a 72 percent success rate in treating sciatica-related symptoms. (1)

Sciatica Treatment In Austin

If you live in the Austin area and are suffering from sciatica, make the decision to stop suffering!

Here at Family Health Chiropractic, treatment of sciatica is only the beginning of how we can help you live a happy, healthier life.

Click here to sign up for a consultation with Austin’s Best Chiropractor today!