Lower Back Pain—Is It Sciatica?

It is almost impossible to find someone who has never experienced low back pain.  However, when your low back pain begins to wander and travels through the buttocks, down the back of the leg and into the calf, you’re likely dealing with sciatica.  An estimated 5% of people with low back pain also have sciatica.  Sciatic pain can be caused by any number of activities, including prolonged sitting, walking, or climbing up or down stairs.  The pain can also feel different depending on the person.  It can be achy, shooting, sharp, or tingling (like “pins and needles”).

What Can Be Done?

Treatment for sciatica typically involves a combination of:

While these interventions might help manage the pain and symptoms of sciatica, the true underlying cause of the condition remains unaddressed.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and lower back pain and sciatica download our complimentary e-book Natural and Drug-Free Ways to End Your Back Pain and Sciatica or just click the image below:

The Chiropractic Piece of the Puzzle

You may have already tried a general chiropractic approach to treating your sciatica, which likely consisted of adjustments to the lower back and/or pelvis.  This might have even provided you with some temporary (and much needed) relief.  However, if your sciatica still persists even after a general chiropractic approach, it’s likely that the real cause lies elsewhere in the spine.  This is where the upper cervical chiropractic approach looks at things a bit differently.

The atlas, the uppermost vertebra in the neck, is shaped and designed to move very differently from the rest of the vertebra in the spine.  Because of this high degree of mobility, it is very likely to misalign, which then causes a series of compensations throughout the spine.  When the head and neck alignment is skewed due to an atlas misalignment, the shoulders and hips must compensate, creating unequal muscle tension in the lower back that can lead to sciatica.  In cases such as these, looking to the neck is the only solution that will provide lasting relief.  By gently and specifically restoring atlas alignment to normal, the body is able to regain balance and symmetry.

Elan Schrier Dr. Elan Schrier is the clinic director of Schrier Family Chiropractic. He focuses in upper cervical chiropractic and continuously is training to improve the quality of his patients' lives. He has a lot of success with difficult vertigo, migraine, and fibromyalgia patients.

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