Sciatica is associated with pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in the hip, buttock, leg, calf, and foot. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest of all the body’s nerves. It runs from the spinal column near the pelvis down each leg and can be as wide as your thumb. Each sciatic nerve is made up of five smaller nerves that branch into the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, and foot. Sciatica occurs when this nerve is compressed, irritated, or inflamed.
Sciatica is most commonly a result of a misaligned lower spine that is pinching the root of the sciatic nerve. This subluxation can apply a good deal of pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause severe pain. A faulty pelvic alignment could put the gluteal muscles under duress and the sciatic nerve will be pinched as it passes through the buttocks. A slipped or herniated disc is another cause of sciatica and is usually a result of trauma from a fall or accident. Less commonly noted causes would include arthritis, tumors, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and any degeneration as a result from long-term stress on the lower back. Often traumatic events are not the cause of sciatica. Standing, sitting, walking, running, heavy lifting, bending, twisting, or even sneezing can bring on symptoms.
For advice on how Dr. Ehlers can treat these conditions, please call and make an appointment today at 760.635.7800.