Sciatica: Symptoms and Causes

Sciatica, Sciatic Nerve, Back PainRight now, you might be feeling pain, but you’re not sure what is causing that pain. Well, there is no way to know with absolute certainty before you are examined but if you suffer from one of the following conditions, your pain might be due to Sciatica.

Symptoms of Sciatica

  • Lower back pain
  • Buttock pain
  • Numbness
  • Pain or weakness in certain parts of your leg or foot
  • A sensation of pins and needles
  • Tingling in the leg
  • Difficulty moving your leg

What is Sciatica?

Well, your sciatic nerve is a long nerve that begins in your lower back runs through your buttock and down each of your legs and consist of five spinal nerve roots. Those are nerves that run from the sciatic nerve and connect to the spine. A person experiences Sciatica either when one of those five spinal nerve roots, which start in the lower spine, or the sciatic nerve itself is compressed or irritated.

Sciatica, or the pain you’re suffering, is a symptom of what is causing your pain. What is causing your pain is the compression or irritation of the Sciatic nerve or one of the nerve roots. So, while medication may cover that pain, it will not get to the root cause of what is causing that compression or irritation.

What causes Sciatica?

  • Spinal Disc Herniation
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Other (anything such as a tumor or car accident )

Have you been diagnosed with any of the above? Can you think of a previous accident that may have lead to your pain? It’s important that if you are suffering pain right now and you think it is Sciatica, that you not simply cover your pain with over-the-counter or prescription medication. An upper cervical chiropractor can examine you and determine if your pain is due to the compression or irritation of your Sciatic Nerve or one of its five root nerves.

Surprisingly sciatica frequently begin with a head or neck injury. When you have a car accident, fall, sports injury etc. that leads to a misalignment between your head and neck the upper neck bones it can lead to severe compensations throughout your entire spine and your body. These compensations can cause irritation and abnormal stress to discs, bones, muscles and nerves. It is important to have a thorough evaluation to determine where your sciatica is originating from.

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Dr. Jeff Leach of Living Well Chiropractic, in Plymouth, Minnesota is a Plymouth Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). His upper cervical clinic also serves Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Wayzata, and St. Louis Park. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, sciatica, neck and back pain, and torticollis. More information can be found on our website at