Sciatica - Causes and Treatments

If you’ve recently had pain down the back of your leg, WebMD or your neighbor probably told you that you have “Sciatica”.  However, the term sciatica simply means you have pain along the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica is a symptom of something that is causing that pain, just like a runny nose is a symptom of allergies, an infection or a virus.

So now that we know what sciatica is, a better question would be “What is causing my sciatica”?  There are multiple conditions that can cause sciatica.  The most common causes are:

  • Spinal Stenosis

  • Lumbar Disc Herniation, Bulge or Prolapse

  • Joint Dysfunction

  • Piriformis Syndrome

  • Peripheral Nerve Entrapment (Nerve irritation at a place other than your spine)

  • Muscle Imbalances in the pelvis or leg

--All of these conditions can cause low back or pelvis pain that goes into the buttock and down the back of the leg.  

A thorough review of the patient’s history and a physical examination by a quality physician can help determine the cause of your sciatica symptoms.  Whether it is any of the above conditions, they usually respond well to focused manual care in conjunction with rehab exercises.  The majority of “sciatica” issues do not require surgery. 

Once your health is restored, simple changes to your daily routine and incorporating specific exercises can eliminate sciatica once and for all.  This type of instruction should be incorporated along with your treatment to facilitate the treatment process. 

For more information on “Sciatica” or how it is properly treated please contact Dr. Mark Hawkins at In Motion Spine and Joint Center at 615-302-4747 or visit our Website at