Due to Disc Herniation
Sciatica is a general term describing pain in the low back or hip and radiating down the back of the leg. One of the causes of this can be a disc injury – commonly know as disc herniation. The disc is a ligamentous structure that lies between the bones of the spine. If these structures are under excessive strain they can weaken over time and tear or bulge, which has the potential to result in inflammation to the area. This process can irritate the adjacent nerve root, resulting in sharp shooting pain traveling down the back of the leg.
In the early stages the goal of care is to provide pain relief and minimize the irritation to the nerve root. Treatment consists of mobilization and traction and/or a chiropractic adjustment to reduce pressure in the area. The patient is usually given relieving postures and exercises that the patient can do at how to provide relief and support healing. Low intensity laser therapy can be effective in decreasing inflammation associated with a disc herniation. It is also important that this condition be monitored to ensure the symptoms do not progress. As the pain subsides, further examination is usually indicated to identify the mechanism of injury and introduce spinal stability exercises and a functional rehabilitation program.
Due to Peripheral Nerve Entrapment
Sciatica is a general term describing pain in the low back or hip and radiating down the back of the leg. One of the causes of this can be increased pressure or tension on the sciatic nerve. As the nerve roots exit the spine some of them come together to form the sciatic nerve, which travels down the leg to supply the skin, muscles, and joints of the back of the leg. As the nerve travels down the leg it must pass through, under, and between the various muscles. If excessive tension of scar tissue exists in any of these muscles it can entrap the nerve and interfere with the nerve function, resulting in symptoms in the back of the hip and leg.
We utilize Myofascial Release Technique (MRT) protocols to address the underlying tightness and scar tissue formation that is putting pressure and entrapping the sciatic nerve. By releasing the tension on the nerve it acts to decrease the excessive pressure and tension on the nerve, helping to restore function.