Sciatica – Causes,Risk factors, Symptoms and Treatment.

Sciatica is a pain is a nerve pain after an injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain is caused by inflammation, pinching or compression of a nerve. The most common cause of nerve pain is disc herniation which causes pressure on the nerve root.


Sciatic Pain can vary widely. You may feel pain in your low back and pain can radiate towards your leg. You may like a tingling, dull ache or burning sensation. The pain can be one-sided but some people feel pain on one side of the leg and numbness on the other side of the leg. The pain or numbness can also be felt in the calf region.

The pain may get worse

  • After standing from the sitting position
  • At night, when the body is at rest
  • By sitting in one place for a more extended period of time.


A Herniated or slipped disc causes pressure on a nerve root. A Disc is the cushioning pad between each vertebra of a spine. Pressure on the spine causes the gel-like centre of the disc to bulge out from its outer wall. A herniated disc can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.

  • Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition in which there is a shortening of height and leads to the narrowing of passageways which is also known as spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can pinch the sciatic nerve as they leave the spine.
  • In Osteoarthritis bone spurs can form in the spine and can compress nerves.
  • Traumatic injury to the lumbar region can also irritate the sciatic nerve.
  • Tumours can also compress the sciatic nerve.
  • A piriformis syndrome is a condition which develops due to the tightness of the piriformis muscle. This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and can cause stress on the sciatic nerve.
  • Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious condition that affects the bundle of nerve roots known as Cauda Equina. This causes pain in both legs and loss of urine and bowel control.

Risk Factors of Sciatica

  1. Trauma or previous injury, An injury to your low back can put you at greater risk of developing sciatica
  2. Overweight, If you are obese then you can develop sciatica because being overweight can put more pressure on your muscles, tissues and joints.
  3. Lifestyle, Jobs that require heavy lifting or jobs with prolonged sitting can increase the risk of low back problems.
  4. Posture, Your posture is a key component of your body and a good posture saves you from many musculoskeletal disorders.
  5. Diabetes increases the change of your nerve damage, which increases the risk of sciatica.
  6. Osteoarthrits can causes damage to your joints and bones and it also can increase the risk of developing sciatica.

How is Sciatica diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will review your medical history. Further, your healthcare provider will look at your physical examination. A simple Straight leg raise test will be performed to diagnose sciatica. You will be asked to walk to check the strength of your muscles.

Some Diagnostic Lab Tests

  1. X-ray of the spine to look for Spinal fractures, disk problems, infection, bone spurs and tumours.
  2. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CT scan (Computed Tomography) can be performed to see bones and soft tissues of the back. An MRI can show your nerve roots, disc herniation and any other condition that is pressing the nerve.

How can a Chiropractor can Treat Sciatica

The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help body to heal itslef. Chiropractic treatment is a non-invasice and drug free treatment. The Chiropractic intervention depends upon the causes of sciatic pain. This may inlcude:

  • Cold Therapy. It helps to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.
  • Ultrasound. It produces gentle heat created by sound waves and it penetrates deep into the tissue. It increases circulation, reduces swelling, reduces muscle spasm and it also have an important role in managing pain.
  • TENS. (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a muscle stimulating machine that helps to reduce acute pain, muscle tightness and improves blood circulation
  • Chiropractic Adjustments. It is a technique to release joint tension, It also helps to reduce nerve irritability caused by inflammation, muscle spasms and other symptoms related to sciatica.

Consulting with Finchley Back care

If you are looking for Massage Therapy then a Chiropractor is the best choice for you because a Licensed Chiropractor treatment is a non-invasive approach to restoring your natural range of motion. A chiropractor focuses on releasing muscle tension and the overall musculoskeletal system.

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