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Sciatica is a broad definition given to any condition described as a neuropathy (pain in a nerve or following the course of a nerve) that affects the leg unilaterally (one leg) or bilaterally (both legs).

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body. It is formed from smaller nerve roots that exit from between each lumbar vertebra and from the sacrum (the middle bone of the pelvis). These roots combine to form a long nerve that controls both sensory and motor functions in the thighs and buttocks and all the way down the leg to the foot.

The most common cause of sciatica is when one of the nerve roots becomes choked or trapped by either a bulging or herniated disc. It is also possible for the nerves to become irritated from arthritic spurring or calcium deposits on the bones surrounding the nerve. Sciatica can be a result of pelvic un-leveling as well. The pelvis is composed of three main parts; the sacrum (in the middle) and two iliac bones (on either side of the sacrum). A sacroiliac separates each iliac bone from the sacrum. This is a fibrous joint that is designed to flex when a person walks. A hard enough jolt, such as a fall, stepping in a pothole, thinking that there is one more or less stair than there actually is, etc.., can cause this joint to actually slip. The hip joint originates from the side of the iliac bone, so when the iliac bone changes position the hip also changes position. This can actually cause one leg to be functionally short compared to the other. In most cases it is usually only a few millimeters, but extreme cases can change up to an inch. The spine and muscles of the low back try to compensate and over time certain muscles can irritate the sciatic nerve.

The symptoms of sciatica can include pins and needles sensation, shooting pains into the leg, burning sensation, a deep ache in the leg similar to a toothache, muscle weakness, spasms into the thigh, calve or foot, and back or abdominal pains.

Click X-Ray for enlarged image

At Creston Chiropractic Center we believe that an educated patient is a happy patient. If you know of others that may benefit from this information please share it with them. If this appears to be what you or someone close to you suffers with please call and make an appointment at 641-782-6226. The greatest compliment you can give to a physician is the referral of friends and family.

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