What Is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerves, which run from your lower back to your toes, are the largest two nerves in your body. When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated or inflamed it can cause pain that radiates from your lower lumbar spine to below the knee. This type of nerve pain is known as sciatica (also known as sciatic neuritis), and it is estimated that 40% of people will experience some form of sciatica in their life.

What Causes Sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is herniation of a disk in the lower five vertebrae (L1-L5). These 5 vertebrae are the largest unfused vertebrae in the spine and have the most weight sitting on them. The soft tissue disks that separate them can slide out of place and in doing so they press against the sciatic nerves and irritate them. However, herniations are not the only cause of sciatic pain. In some cases, back injury can leave the spine temporarily misaligned. This misalignment can cause the vertebrae themselves to pinch or rub against the sciatic nerves. Also, sciatica can be caused by infections or autoimmune disorders that lead to inflamed nerves similar to the cause of rheumatoid arthritis.

What Are Some Ways We Can Help You with Your Sciatica?

Getting a chiropractic adjustment or manipulation from Dr. Merckling can help to relieve pressure on the vertebrae which can help to re-align your spine with your hips and shoulders. This can relieve stress on the disks and nerves that are causing you sciatic pain. We can also make use of our state-of-the-art flexion distraction table to aid the pressure relief of your lower back. We also use a number of different chiropractic methods to help relax the muscles and realign the joints in your areas of discomfort, such as electric stem therapy, our Dynatronics ThermoStim Probe, or a soft tissue massage/manipulation.

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