Doctors of Chiropractic medicine regularly treat sciatica. Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates in
the low back or buttock that travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity and frequency;
minimal, moderate, severe and occasional, intermittent, frequent or constant.
Pain is described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins and needles or similar to electric shocks. Other
symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations. Sciatica is also called
radiating or referred pain, neuropathy, or neuralgia. A misconception is that sciatica is a disorder - however,
sciatica is really a symptom of a disorder.
Caused by Nerve Compression
Sciatica is generally caused by sciatic nerve compression. Disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include
lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebral body/ies), herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy
and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one's back pocket
One common cause of sciatica is Piriformis Syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is named after the piriformis muscle.
The piriformis muscle is located in the lower part of the spine, connects to the thighbone, and assists in hip
rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. This muscle is susceptible to injury from a slip
and fall, hip arthritis, or a difference in leg length. Such situations can cause cramping and spasm to develop in
the piriformis muscle, thereby pinching the sciatic nerve and causing inflammation and pain.
Sciatic nerve compression may result in the loss of feeling (sensory loss), paralysis of a single limb or group
of muscles (monoplegia), and insomnia.
Since there are many disorders that cause sciatica, the chiropractor's first step is to determine what is causing
the patient's sciatica. Forming a diagnosis involves a thoughtful review the patient's medical history, and a
physical and neurological examination. Diagnostic testing includes an x-ray, MRI, CT scan and/or electrodiagnostic
tests (nerve conduction velocity, electromyography). These examinations and tests help to detect possible
contraindications to spinal adjustments and other chiropractic therapies.
The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help the body's potential to heal itself. It is based on the scientific
principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance. Chiropractic care is
non-invasive (non-surgical) and drug-free.
Dr. Johnston is uniquely qualified to help you with your Sciatica Pain
With his many years of experience along with the use of specialized techniques, he can develop a
treatment plan to safely accelerate your recovery and get you back into action.
An individually tailored and supervised treatment program will be developed to strengthen
and condition the underlying problem.