What is sciatica?
Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve is being irritated. This nerve starts from the low back and runs through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. The irritation of the sciatic nerve can often lead to pain, numbness or tingling down the effected leg. In severe cases it may even lead to weakness.
What can cause leg pain, numbness or tingling??
Sciatica is often caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This can be caused by disc herniations, bone spurs from degeneration and spinal steinosis (narrowing of the vertebral and intervertebral foramen).
Why does structural chiropractic work so well for leg pain, numbness or tingling that is coming from sciatica?
Structural chiropractic works very well for sciatica because it looks into correcting the cause of all this. By restoring optimal structure and function of the spine it allows the spine to support itself better through strengthening the deep spinal muscles. By doing so the spine is stronger and can support itself better thus allowing optimal space for the nerves to run through the foramens.
So how does this all happen?
When your joints (any joint) are misaligned, they cannot move correctly. When a joint does not move correctly, the stabilising muscles that support that joint become lazy and weak and the nerve connection to those muscles diminish as it’s not getting used much.
It’s use it or lose it for the body, brain and nerve connections and Just like having a cast on your arm or leg, without moving the joints for just 1-2 months you will see a huge reduction of muscle tone and strength and nerve connectivity.
More specific to the spine, without proper movement of the joints and strength of the muscles and ligaments of the spine, the spinal curves lose their most functional shape and instead of acting like springs to distribute everyday forces, all the forces go onto the bones and discs of the spine and cause degeneration, damage/injury and other dysfunctions to occur.
The deep stabilising muscles and their strength and activity are important as when they are not supporting a joint properly a whole host of problems can arise.
These muscles keep the joints in their proper position… so when they are weak:
- The joint is not getting any support.
- It’s not in it’s optimal position.
- Keeps locking up and lacks proper movement.
- The muscles keep getting weaker.
- The cycle keeps getting worse over time.
- Creates damage inside the bones, joints, discs and nerves
This weakness and instability within the deep stabilising muscles also creates tightness and stiffness in and around the bigger muscles around the body such as the neck (causing tension headaches), chest, shoulders, lower back, buttock and even arms and legs, creating a whole chain of improper movement and stress through the body.