Sciatic Pain: What is Sciatica and How is it Treated?

sciatic pain in lower back

One of the most common conditions that patients receive treatment for at Dr. Stephanie Louie’s office is Sciatica. “It can present itself in many different ways” explains Dr. Louie, “which is why when first-time patient’s walk into Mind Body Spine, it is important to do a thorough examination to determine the root causes of sciatic pain and the most effective way to treat the problem.”

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a set of symptoms and occurs when the sciatic nerve, which is one of the largest nerves in the body and is located in the low back, gets pinched or compressed. This nerve runs down each leg and can therefore not only cause low back pain, but also buttock, leg and foot pain. It is important to note that the symptoms of sciatica can vary and can include: numbness, tingling, and weakness.

How Does a Person Get Sciatica?

Between the bones of your spine, called vertebrae, are discs which can act as a soft cushion between each bone. If the disc becomes compressed or deformed the disc material can squeeze out between the bones and press on one or more of the spinal nerves that form the sciatic nerve causing inflammation. “You can think of each disc like a jelly donut”, says Dr. Louie. “If you squish or compress the donut, all the jelly will squirt out of it.”

Who is at Risk?

At Mind Body Spine, Dr. Louie sees patients with sciatic pain due to a traumatic incident, such as lifting something heavy or with poor biomechanics. But more often she sees patients who are desk workers with sciatica. Sitting puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the spine and can aggravate the discs leading not only to back pain and back stiffness but also inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatic Pain Treatment

Sciatica can be tremendously painful and at times disabling, but the good news is there are many ways to help treat the pain and correct the underlying problem. At Mind Body Spine we take a total body chiropractic approach. “We have many tools to help with this condition including chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression therapy, and physiotherapy rehabilitation exercises for sciatic pain relief to name a few” explains Dr. Louie. It is important to really understand the condition for a proper treatment plan to be made so that you can return to your maximum potential.