If you are experiencing tingling and numbness in the legs, along with sharp pains in your lower back near your hips, you might be experiencing sciatica. The funny thing is that where you feel the pain may not be where the pain originated.
Consider that the entire spine is connected, so an accident that causes an injury to the top two vertebra can affect the lower (lumbar) spine. Think of it like an earthquake. We feel the earthquake on the surface of the Earth, because that is where we are located, but that is not the epicenter of the quake.
In the same way, the reason we feel pain in the lower back is frequently due to misalignment of the top two vertebrae (the upper cervical spine), also called the Atlas and Axis vertebra. The misalignment of those top two vertebrae affects the alignment of the entire spine, and that misalignment can affect one’s posture including the position of the hips and lower back.
Since that postural shift frequently puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is located near the lower back near one’s hips, it manifests itself as Sciatica. That pain will continue as long as the postural displacement is not corrected, and that which is causing that poor posture will continue to cause lower back pain until the upper cervical spine is realigned.
A Better Way than Medication
Of course, it is easy to think taking medication will alleviate the pain, and it might, but only temporarily. And there has not yet been a medication formulated by humans that is guaranteed to work and not cause negative side effects.
Another option is to pursue the underlying cause of the sciatica. This starts with a thorough evaluation of the alignment of the spine and the posture of the body. If it is found by an upper cervical chiropractor that the head and neck misalignment is leading to changes in posture throughout the body the upper cervical doctor can correct this original misalignment and affect posture throughout the body frequently balancing the position of the hips. When the hips are in a balanced and level position sciatica will commonly disappear.
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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 http://www.livingwellmn.com/