Sciatica – Not Just a Pain in The Back-Side!
What Is Sciatica?
‘Sciatica’ is a Latin term that simply means ‘leg pain’. This is a pain that radiates from the lower back and down the leg along the sciatic nerve. This is a rather uncomfortable pain and can even cause some people momentary feelings of paralysis.
Breakdown of Pathology
To help better understand imagine your sciatic nerve (pictured) as a hosepipe that has been pinched/kinked. Without doubt this will restrict and disrupt water flow. This is the symptom of the pinching in the pipe, however it could be anywhere along the length of the pipe.
The ‘pipe’ in the case of our bodies is the sciatic nerve, which exits the spine at the level of the lower back and sacrum and runs down the leg to the foot. Similar to our hosepipe example there is an obstruction somewhere along the nerve. This is usually from pinching to the nerve in the case of a bulging disc, resulting in our symptoms i.e. radiating pain running down the leg. The worse the interference to the nerve is the worse your pain will be and the further down the leg it will be felt.
It is commonly believed that the problem lies with the lower back, but as you read more of these posts and further understand more about how the body actually works, you realise this is not always the case. As mentioned earlier the pinching could be anywhere along the length of the nerve. It is usually pinched at the point of exit from the spine or as it passes between the piriformis muscles in your buttock.
When this occurs, the ‘flow’ in the nerve is blocked. This causes a problem in receiving information (in the brain) and sending information out to the muscles (and other structures). Corresponding symptoms tend to be burning pain, shooting pain, weakness, numbness and pins and needles type pain.
A key factor to keep in mind when diagnosing the issue is to rule out any serious disease(s) such as cancer, infection, diabetes, fractures, tumours etc. as these can also present sciatica related symptoms. Thankfully this is rare and the most common reason for the pinching is a bulging disc, muscle tightness or arthritis.
When approaching your GP for help with sciatica, he/she will typically give you drugs for the symptoms (the pain) but this simply numbs, dulls or even turns off the pain receptors in your brain and does not tackle the problem itself. In other words, imagine your car dashboard flashed an error warning light such as the oil light.
Now instead of checking and filling the oil all you did is take out the bulb for the warning light. You won’t get the warning light any more but of course the problem is still there. That’s what you’re effectively doing when taking pain killers for something such as sciatica.
A body-work therapist such as a chiropractor, osteopath, masseuse, physio etc. on the other hand will treat the site of the pinching, but this only sometimes provides relief. Often there can be no change and in some cases the problem can even be made worse.
What Are They Missing?
The research of neurosurgeon Dr. Alf Breig and his discovery about nerve function is greatly overlooked by healthcare professionals. He discovered that nerves in the body can and do stretch like elastic bands as the body moves. When your bones are misaligned you are forced into a forward posture, increasing tension on your nerves. This in turn can create excessive stretch on the spinal cord and nerves.
As a result, this can also pull nerves around pinch points and increase the amount of pinching that happens. Excessive nerve stretch can also mimic pinching as the nerve gets thinner the more it stretches, just like an elastic band. It is this combination of stretching and pinching that needs to be addressed in order to provide relief.
What’s The Solution?
Advanced BioStructural Correction™ (ABC™) has been found to demonstrate the ability to best tackle such ailments as it is the ONLY method that simultaneously;
- reduces nerve tension
- reduces mechanical stress at the level of the pinch
- improves overall body function
- helps heal disc prolapses quicker
By correcting the alignment of the bones in the body and its posture, we return mechanical stress and tension to normal/neutral. In doing so, the optimum slack your nerves need in order to function correctly is returned.
When your nerves are afforded the slack they’re supposed to have, bulging discs etc. do not pinch as much, resulting in rapid symptom relief. This method targets the most common causes of sciatica. An improved posture also helps with muscle ache/tightness, disc health, balance, strength, mobility and flexibility at the same time – win-win!
Side note; this process works for pinched nerves in the neck as well – which usually make your arm and hand hurt, go numb and weak too. The area that creates the most nerve tension is at the top of your neck – that’s nowhere near your leg! This is why a doctor may perform a test called ‘slump test’ to assess this tension. We find that when we correct the posture at the base of your neck and between your shoulders, pain relief can be experienced almost immediately. It can take longer if there is severe stretching, scar tissue or disc/arthritic damage.
Example ABC™ Case Study of Sciatica Patient
This person had severe sciatica to the point that they had lost all strength in their ankle (this is called a foot drop). They were in a lot of pain and part of their lower leg and foot was numb.
This is an MRI scan of their lower back. You can clearly see a large disc prolapse, bulging into the spinal canal. This is where it was pressing on the nerve. This is commonly what causes sciatica.
This is an MRI scan of the same person six months later. The bulge is virtually gone and their symptoms of numbness, weakness and pain had also gone too.
Our goal is to help you get back to health and be the best you can be. Let us get to the root cause of your ailment(s). We offer a FREE consultation including a demo of the ‘First Rib Manoeuver’ before you decide on proceeding with any treatment. You will feel the difference to your pain and movement right from the off.