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A Treatment For Sciatica

It goes something like this . . .

Me (I’m the doctor, BTW): Hi Mary. What brings you in to the office today?

Mary (Names have been changed to protect the innocent): Doc. . . They always call me doc. . Doc. My sciatica has flared up.

Me: Your sciatica has flared up? Tell me about it.

Mary: I have pain that starts in my butt and runs down the back of my leg.

Me: I see. That sounds really frustrating. Will you let me take a look at it.

Sciatica is about the only condition that I can think of that people come in already with a diagnosis for. Then, I basically have to ask them what the symptoms are just so that I can double check and make sure that they have the right diagnosis . . .

Yes, sometimes they get this one wrong but oddly, not very often.

I only tell this story because it makes me chuckle (people coming in pre-diagnosed. Not the part about them having pain. There is nothing funny about pain) and it makes me think that a lot of people must talk to each other about “their Sciatica.”

So. Let’s talk about Sciatica.

The Sciatic Nerve is a huge nerve, about the diameter of your thumb, that is created by the nerve roots from L4-S3. The very bottom of your spine.

The nerve roots come out of the spine on the front side of the pelvis and then move rearward, through a layer of muscles before turning south and traveling down the back of your thigh and into the back of your leg and foot.

The Sciatic Nerve and it’s branches are responsible for controlling the hamstring muscles and most of the muscles in your leg and foot. It also provides sensation to the back side of the thigh and the entire leg.

So what is Sciatica anyway?

Sciatica is pain that runs along the Sciatic nerve. It is caused by irritation and inflammation of the Sciatic nerve.

What causes irritation of the Sciatic nerve?

Great question . . . Everyone likes to blame Sciatica on nerve irritation from a bulging disc and while I have seen this be the problem, I don’t find it to be very common.

What I usually find is that the Sciatic nerve has created adhesions with muscles that run alongside or across the Sciatic nerve. When a nerve becomes adhered to a muscle, instead of the tissues gliding, the structures become stuck and various movements lead to pain and irritation to the nerve.

For instance, the most common being the Piriformis muscle. In fact, there is a condition called Piriformis Syndrome, in which the piriformis mm. adheres to the Sciatic nerve and irritates it thus causing Sciatica.

The treatment for this . . . and I do this a lot . . . is a hands-on treatment called Soft Tissue Release Therapy or STR.

With STR, the doctor (that’s me) locates the adhesion with his hand, holds tension on it and then has the patient move his/her body so that the nerve can slide past the adhesion, thus breaking the adhesion and relieving the irritated nerve.

The awesome thing about this is that most people find pretty rapid relief from having this procedure performed.

If you or any of your friends are dealing with “Sciatica,” especially if you have tried other treatments without success, give us a call

(or better yet, click the button below and schedule an appointment online).

I would love to help you find the relief that get’s you back to doing the things that bring you joy.

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