Sciatica is defined as a common type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back into the buttocks and down the back of one or both legs. There are 5 pairs of nerves that exit the spine in the lower back that make up what we know as the sciatic nerve. If the vertebrae or bones in the lower back are misaligned; or the disc between the vertebrae are swollen, bulged or herniated, which puts pressure on those nearby nerves. This can cause tremendous pain and normal daily activities become almost impossible. Muscular adhesion can also cause the sciatic nerve to become entrapped at the gluteal (butt) muscles or hamstring musculature; causing irritation and radiating pain from the buttocks down the back of one or both legs. This is called a peripheral nerve entrapment.
At Discover Soft Tissue and Spine we use complete functional movement screenings of the lower back and legs so we can narrow down the exact problem and tissue(s) that need to be fixed. We also utilize manual soft tissue treatments to help with fibrous muscular adhesion and peripheral nerve entrapment that often contribute to and cause sciatic pain. This tends to reduce pain, improve flexibility and function. Therapeutic exercise is then added to help strengthen the appropriate muscles to help with your recovery.
What causes sciatica?
The most common causes of sciatica include:
How long will sciatica take to heal?
Acute sciatica pain can last several days to several weeks. After pain subsides it’s not uncommon to deal with numbness for several days.
Does sciatica go away on its own?
If you have mild sciatica pain from a pinched sciatic nerve it will usually go away with time or can be treated through home remedies like basic therapy or the use of anti-inflammatories. However, if it occurs frequently or the pain is severe, you may need to look into specific treatments to reduce your sciatic pain.
What can make sciatica worse?
Depending on the cause of your sciatica, there are certain activities and positions that can amplify your pain. For example, if the sciatic nerve is inflamed from a herniated disc, seated positions likely will make the pain worse.
If you're experiencing any of the following pain, learn more about our treatment options.
If you think you have or are struggling with sciatic pain in the Grand Rapids area, call our office at 616-956-1112 or request an appointment by pressing here!
Sciatic Nerve Treatment using manual therapy to a sciatic nerve entrapment at the external hip rotators and a sciatic nerve entrapment in the hamstrings.