Many cases of sciatica are actually misdiagnosed. Sciatica is defined as unilateral (one side of the body) pain that starts in the lower back then runs down the hips and buttocks into the leg usually ending in the big toe. The cause of sciatica is pressure on the sciatic nerve due to a disc herniation, osteophyte (bone spur) or spinal stenosis (narrowing of spinal canal). Any pressure applied over the disc herniation or movement of the affected foot can cause pain, which is normally described as very sharp and shooting.
Because the sciatic nerve runs through the buttock it lies beneath the gluteal and piriformis muscles. When the piriformis muscle spasms or becomes tight it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve which causes pain to be felt in the lower back, buttocks and back of leg normally to the knee. When this occurs a person is said to have Piriformis Syndrome. People suffering from Piriformis Syndrome describe the pain as tingling, burning and numb.
Because both of these conditions have similar pain presentations it is important to determine the actual cause of the pain. Piriformis Syndrome is the better option as sacro-iliac joint adjustments, massage and exercises can relieve the pain fairly quickly. True sciatic pain caused by a disc herniation is also treatable through chiropractic care and massage but it requires a longer period of time to completely relieve the pain. Normally patients report a significant reduction in symptoms after 1 or 2 visits but complete recover time depends upon the extent of the disc herniation.
In closing, a proper diagnosis is key. Once a proper diagnosis is made then a correct treatment plan can be formed which will relieve the pain as quickly as possible. The chiropractors and massage therapists at Hands On Chiropractic Oshawa are able to help relieve pain caused by a disc herniation or tight piriformis. Please call, text or email for an appointment so we can help relieve your pain.
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