What is Sciatica?
Your sciatic is the body’s longest nerve, beginning at your spinal cord and going down through your hips and buttocks, and then branching down to each leg. This nerve is important because it affects your ability to control and feel your legs. If this nerve becomes irritated or compromised, then sciatica occurs.
Sciatica is a sensation that causes weakness or numbness along the sciatic nerve (hips, buttocks and legs) and can cause moderate or severe pain. Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying injury to the nerve or to an area that impacts the nerve, such as the bones in the neck and back.
Since there are many disorders that cause sciatica, it is important to understand the underlying condition before developing a treatment plan. A review of your spine as well as your medical history will help understand if spinal adjustments and other chiropractic therapies are appropriate. Depending on your condition, chiropractic treatment can help by developing a plan to regain control of your symptoms to avoid invasive surgery.
Since sciatica is often caused by herniated discs, Chiropractic treatment for the first six to twelve weeks after the onset of symptoms can be safe and effective. Treatment can include spinal manipulation.
If it is determined that your sciatica is caused by other disorders beyond the scope of chiropractic care, then we’ll refer you to one of our many medical partners in Singapore to get you the help you need.
Causes and risk factors
Your history and X-Rays will be needed to find the exact source of your sciatica. Once it is known, it can be treated. Some treatment may require spinal corrections and manipulation. You may also need specific rehabilitation exercises and trigger point therapy.
Sciatica can be caused by a number of conditions that involve the spine:
- Herniated Disks - The bones in your spine are separated by cartilage filled with a thick, clear material to absorb shock as you move. If a disk becomes herniated, the outer cartilage will rip and the substance inside can extrude and compress the sciatic nerve
- Gluteus Minimus Muscle ("Pseudo-Sciatica") - The gluteus minimus is the deepest of the gluteal muscles and is supplied nerves from L4 through S1. When the nerve is injured or compromised, the muscles are diminished and referred pain can occur. This often mimics sciatica and can be constant or severe in intensity.
- Spinal Stenosis/Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Abnormal narrowing of the upper or lower spinal canal. This can put pressure on the spinal cord as well as the sciatic nerve.
- Spondylolisthesis and Cervical Spondylosis - A degenerative disk disorder where one spinal bone extends over another and can pinch the sciatic nerve.
- Piriformis Syndrome - A rare neuromuscular disorder in which the muscle that connects the lower portion of your spine to your thighbones involuntarily contracts causing sciatica because of the pressure on the nerve.
Sometime sciatica can occur after a fall or in the case of spinal/sciatic nerve tumors.
The good news about sciatica is that the symptoms below usually only last for a short period (around six weeks) if you avoid activities that seem to trigger the problem.
Of the people who experience sciatica for more than six weeks, many say it goes away with time.
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- Numbness/weakness in the legs or feet
- Loss of feeling and/or movement along the nerve
- Pins and needles in your toes or feet
- Inability to control your bladder or bowels, which is caused by a rare symptom called cauda equina syndrome
When to seek medical care
You should consult a medical professional for your sciatica if you experience the following:
- Your sciatica lasts longer than six weeks
- Your pain comes after a severe injury
- You have sudden, excruciating pain and numbness in your lower back or leg
- You are not able to control your bladder or bowels you should seek medical attention immediately
Contact Us for Your Consultation
If you think Chiropractic treatment can help, contact us to schedule a consultation at our Singapore Clinic. The consultation includes:
- X-ray review and measurement
- Lifestyle and activity assessment
- Doctor examination
- Clinic session
- Spinal adjustment
- At-home care recommendations
If new X-Rays need to be taken, they can be done the same day (at an additional cost) as your appointment. Our doctor will also show you some results from previous patients so you can feel confident in the Chiropractic treatment we provide.
We promise to never hard-sell you, because we believe that our patients must be as committed to their treatment as our team is to their care.