This is a common symptom we see in many patients presenting to The Chiropractic Clinic. Patients often describe pain traveling from the low back and down into the leg and have often been told ‘its sciatica’ – but what exactly does that mean and can anything be done to help?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, being composed of several smaller nerve roots which combine together after leaving the spinal cord. The nerve courses down into the leg to supply strength, sensation and reflexes to the lower limb. The pain associated with sciatica is often severe and unrelenting in nature with the worst of the pain usually in the leg. Other symptoms of sciatica due to irritation of these nerves include weakness or numbness. The structures involved may be overly taut muscles, damaged intervertebral discs, arthritic joints and numerous other causes. In treating sciatica it is important to determine why the sciatic nerve is being affected as this will help decide how it is best treated.
Sciatica is not the only cause for leg pain, other examples include referred pain from many of the many of the joints and muscles around the pelvis, so although ‘sciatica’ helps to describe symptoms in the leg it doesn’t diagnose the underlying problem (because of this, estimates for the prevalence of sciatica vary between 2 and 43% in the research!)
Low back and leg pain are common complaints that we frequently see and treat at The Chiropractic Clinic and it is important to differentiate the cause of the problem in order to find the best solution. It’s great that we can offer a £5 consultation where you can chat to one of the chiropractors. So if you have leg or back pain or another problem that you wish to discuss then call us at the clinic: