Sciatic pain can be very painful and debilitating for many people and affects one’s quality of life. Your sciatic nerve is the biggest and longest nerve in the body and travels from the low back, to the pelvis, buttocks, thigh, knee, calf, foot and toes. When the sciatic nerve gets inflamed, the pain can affect any of the above areas and most commonly affects one side. Some people may have the unfortunate experience of having it in both legs. The pain is described as shooting down the leg, numbness, burning, tingling or all of the above. The most common cause of sciatic pain is irritation of the sciatic nerve roots by a disc in the lower back due to accidents, injuries and spinal misalignments. Most medical treatments for sciatic pain are medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, and spinal surgery in extreme cases.
The Upper Cervical Chiropractic Approach to Sciatic Pain
Like all nerves, the sciatic nerve roots begin at the brain and must pass through the first vertebra of the spine (the atlas bone) before reaching their destination in lumbar and sacral spine. Often it can be at the highest level of the spine where spinal misalignment and imbalance first occurs. Misalignments in the upper cervical spine affects every spinal level below it. The upper cervical adjustment restores the entire spine to its proper balance, which will result in a decrease in nerve irritation. Many people ask how the upper cervical spine can affect the lower back and sciatic nerve. I like to tell them about Christopher Reeves, the actor who played Superman. He fractured the top bones of the cervical spine (neck) when falling off a horse and was paralyzed from the neck down. He could not breathe on his own, walk on his own or even function on his own without the help of machines. Reeves fractured the top bones in the neck and had no function the lower part of his body. Every nerve starts at the top of the spine and flows down, have your upper cervical spine evaluated by an upper cervical chiropractor to see if upper cervical can give you the sciatic relief you deserve!