What is sciatica? Sciatica occurs when pain is felt through the sciatic nerve. This nerve is located in the lower back area. However, because it travels down through the backside and into the leg, pain can be felt all down the nerve.
Generally, sciatica occurs just on one side. There are various occurrences that can place pressure on the sciatic nerve. These include bone spurs and herniated discs. However, there is another cause that is often overlooked.
Increasing research has linked long periods of sitting with sciatic pain. Of course, sciatica is not the only complication of spending too much time sitting down. Hypertension, high cholesterol, and excess body fat have also been linked to sitting and having a sedentary lifestyle.
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When a person sits for a long time, pressure is increased in the lower part of the back. This, in turn, can compress the sciatic nerve. Sitting also often involves holding the head at the wrong angle to view computer screens or the like. As a result, posture is thrown off, and what starts as a misalignment in the neck can travel down through the back causing pain along the way.
While your neck might be the last place you look for an injury when your lower back and leg are where the pain is, the fact is that sciatica can be the result of an upper cervical misalignment. The entire spine is interconnected thanks to soft tissue. When this tissue is damaged, or the neck is misaligned, the pain can show up anywhere along the spine.
Dr. Elan Schrier of Delray Beach, Florida is specially trained to diagnose and correct misalignments of the upper cervical spine (the C1 and C2 vertebrae). Correcting such a misalignment can allow the spine to regain normal alignment. This often relieves the pain from sciatica naturally.