Did you know that Sciatica tends to be the most overused “diagnosis” with patients and family doctors? For years now… the majority of patients that come into my office for low back pain, tell me that they have sciatica. When in reality, they have absolutely no symptoms of sciatica. Unfortunately, most of them tell me that it was their family doctor that gave them this mis-diagnosis.
What is Sciatica?
The term sciatica can include a number of different resulting conditions all stemming from a root cause… the sciatic nerve. This is usually caused by chronic irritation of one or more of the spinal nerves L4 – S4. The usual causes are trauma to the inter-vertebral discs associated with the roots of spinal nerves L4 _ S4, but a number of other causes, including improperly administered hypodermic injections into the gluteal muscle, have been documented. Whatever the cause, sciatica is characterized by pain along the course of the sciatic nerve through the hip and down the back of the leg.
Pressure, either chronic or acute, applied to the sciatic nerve’s dorsal and/or ventral roots may result in a number of symptoms in addition to pain.
- Weakness in the lower leg muscles.
- Inability of the lower leg muscles to control the ankle and foot can result in impaired gait due to foot drop.
- Sensory disturbances such as paresthesia (a tingling or “pins and needles” sensation)
- Hyperesthesia (increased or extreme sensitivity of receptors, particularly touch, temperature, and pain receptors).
- Severe sciatica can even result in wasting of the muscles of the lower leg.
How Do You Know If You Have It?
You will feel a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling radiating from the lower back and upper buttock down the back of the hamstrings to the back of the calf muscles. Walking can be almost impossible because every time you extend your leg forward the sciatic nerve becomes stretched and produces immediate pain. This is where a lot of people come in to my office misdiagnosed. Their pain will be isolated to the low back only, or the pain travels to the groin or down the front of the leg.
What Does It Feel Like
• Shooting pain when walking or bending at the waist.
• Sharp stabbing pains when moving the legs in certain positions.
• Pain when lying down, sitting, standing, walking, etc.
• Numbness in the feet and toes.
• Trouble controlling limb, loss of balance.
• Legs collapsing out from under you.
What Can You Do Sciatica
Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Refrain from normal activity to reduce inflammation. You may want to take over-the-counter pain relievers if you have no allergies to them, including ibuprofen. Avoid shoes with elevated heels. Follow the protocol outlined in the Doctor’s Back Pain System™ that I provide. In most cases, after only a few minutes of specific stretches, you’ll notice immediate relief. Keep in mind, this relief will be short lived at least until we work on correcting the muscle imbalances that created the problem to begin with. Doctor’s Back Pain System™ is the key for Cracking The Code For Chronic Pain™.
If you haven’t already… sign up for my free webinar explaining your back pain in further detail. You can eliminate your pain at home, without drugs, needles, or surgery if you just have a specific plan to follow. Inside my webinar, I will explain exactly what that plan is.
Yours in health,
Dr Jason Hurst, DC, CCSP, CSCS
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