Sciatica is a condition that causes pain from a compressed sciatic nerve in the lower back that radiates down one or both legs. The frequency and severity of the pain can vary from patient to patient, but in the extreme, it can be debilitating and may require surgical intervention. While sciatica is a common diagnosis, it’s not always the root of the problem.
Sciatica occurs when a large nerve running down into the leg is aggravated. The sciatic nerve starts around the base of the spine and goes through the buttocks, hips, thighs, and down to the toes. Indeed the sciatic nerve can be inflamed and cause pain, however not all pain in the buttocks, hips, and thighs is due to sciatica.
Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica
In addition to aching or shooting pain in the buttocks, hips, and thighs, sciatica patients may experience pain down the leg and into the toes. This pain may be accompanied by numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation. Sitting, standing, or walking can trigger inflammation and pain. For some people, sciatica can lead to more serious mobility issues.
While doctors will usually diagnose patients with sciatica if they exhibit pain in certain areas, it’s always difficult for them to be sure. Pinched nerves can cause a similar type of pain.
How the Upper Cervical Spine Affects Sciatica
The upper cervical spine is located at the base of the skull, down the neck, and into the upper back. This portion of the spine contains vertebrae that help support the skull and protect the pathway of nerves that go down the spinal cord. When the vertebrae in the upper cervical spine are misaligned, they may cause pain that cascades down into the lower back and lower extremities. This type of pain can be very similar to the pain experienced by sciatica patients.
Sometimes pinched nerves in the upper cervical spine cause us to adjust our posture and shift our weight in unhealthy ways. This can cause us to put a strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints in the buttocks, hips, and back, and may cause sciatica by inflaming the sciatic nerve.
How Our Sciatica Treatment Works
Sciatica is a complex condition, but some patients can find relief without jumping into invasive treatments like surgery. Upper cervical chiropractic care can alleviate sciatica through gentle, effective, and precise adjustments to the upper cervical spine.
Dr. Christina Coblish and Dr. Ryan Moeskau of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Boulder are specialists in the Blair Chiropractic Technique. This technique utilizes advanced 3D diagnostic imaging tools to pinpoint misalignments in the upper cervical spine.
Once the misalignment is identified, it can then be manipulated to realign the spine using precise, gentle pressure. The correction of pinched nerves using the non-invasive, safe, drug-free Blair Chiropractic Technique may be the best route to relief.
If sciatica is causing limitations in your day-to-day life, please get in touch with Dr. Coblish and Dr. Moeskau for an appointment. Located in Boulder, Colorado, Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Boulder also services Broomfield, Denver, Erie, Lafayette, Longmont, and Louisville.