Since 1985, Dr. Terry Cottrell has been offering effective solutions with successful results for his patients. A common condition he treats is sciatica, the shooting nerve pain which travels down the back of the leg, often resulting from an injury or trauma. A variety of chiropractic treatments have consistently proven to provide significant relief. Call or book online to visit Dr. Cottrell in his Issaquah, Washington office, and discuss your treatment options.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica, medically known as lumbar radiculopathy, describes the pressure on the sciatic nerve that results in a pain sensation. The pain typically radiates down one leg; sometimes it can affect both legs simultaneously.

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in your body running from the lower back all the way down both legs to the toes. It starts as a collection of nerve fibers in the lower spine that exit through the spinal canal openings in the bone.

The fibers then connect to form one large nerve. The nerve travels through an opening in the pelvis, the greater sciatic foramen, and usually runs below the piriformis muscle. Above the knee, the nerve turns to two nerves that serve the lower leg and foot.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Some of the common symptoms of sciatica are:

  • Hip pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Lower back pain
  • Burning or tingling sensation in the legs

Sciatica pain can range from mild to severe, in which case it affects your mobility, even preventing you from standing up. Usually, sciatica only affects one side of the body, with the pain extending from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down to the lower leg. The toes and feet may also be affected.

Loss of bladder or bowel control is another important symptom to look out for that could indicate sciatica. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica is typically caused by:

  • Pregnancy
  • Herniated disks
  • Muscle spasms
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine

Certain other aspects may impact your back pain and make it worse, including:

  • Lack of frequent exercise
  • Being overweight and improper posture
  • Wearing improper shoes that cause pressure and irritation
  • Sleeping on a mattress that’s uncomfortable and doesn’t offer adequate support

A specific spasm of, injury to, or problem concerning the piriformis muscle can also lead to sciatica, since these muscles are so close to the nerve.

What are the chiropractic treatment options for sciatica?

Dr. Cottrell provides an array of chiropractic treatment options for sciatica including spinal manipulation, where he applies gentle, low-force pressure with his hands or an instrument that can manipulate your joints.

He also uses the widely-successful activator method, at-home exercises and more. Dr. Cottrell will work with you to decide the best course of treatment to relieve you from the pain of sciatica. Call or book your appointment online.