When pain complaints start in your leg it is not necessarily your leg that is to blame. Actually, more often the complaints come from a different area of the body such as the hip joint or the lower back. Sciatica is the name for complaints caused by the entrapment or the damaging of the sciatic nerve. In the case of pressure on the nerve pain is felt locally as well as in the leg.
The sciatic nerve (nervus ischiadicus)
The sciatic nerve begins in the spinal cord and goes via the buttocks into the back of the leg, then through the calf muscle to the foot. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body.
Symptoms of sciatica
The compression of the sciatic nerve causes lower back pain and often a nerve pain radiating to the leg, lower leg and/or foot . The symptoms are often caused by a herniated disk but there can be other causes as well. For example, the root of the nerve can get damaged by heightened pressure on the joint areas of the spinal column.
Causes of sciatica
Sciatica can have different causes. Often one of the causes is overusing the lower back muscles and/or the buttock muscles. Due to overuse of the muscle(s) it can contort and then block the sciatica nerve. Lack of movement can also cause muscles around it to contort and therefore make the complaints worse. Overuse can be be caused by activities such as lifting heavy things often or sitting in a damaging posture for a long period of time.
The contortion of the muscles has a negative effect on the recovery of the muscles. The chiropractor uses treatment techniques that give the muscles better circulation, and the joints more freedom of movement. By improving the balance in muscle strength, the weight is better distributed throughout the body. Read more about the “get better in 3 steps” plan here.