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This is a common type of pain caused by the irritation of compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve is the largest in the human body and runs from the pelvis through the buttocks all the way to the feet. The most common cause of sciatica is a slipped disc also referred to as a prolapsed disc. In some cases, doctors do not find an obvious cause of sciatica, and this might complicate the diagnosis and the treatment processes. There are many causes of this condition.

Causes Of Sciatica

Sciatica is a term used to describe pain down the hip, leg and foot. The actual underlying cause can vary. Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve is a cause of sciatica.  Disc bulges or herniations are also a common cause of sciatica. Other common causes include:

  • Degeneration of spinal discs: This is the breakdown of the discs which act as the cushioning between two vertebrae.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis: This is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower part of the back. The narrowing compresses the nerve.
  • Spondylolisthesis: This is a condition that occurs when a vertebra slips forward over the others.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Common symptoms associated with sciatica include pain in the buttocks, lower back pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness in the leg feet and toes, calf muscle weakness. Some people have excruciating debilitating pain while in others, it is mild. Sometimes no pain is present, only numbnessand tingling. Pain and discomfort is typically on one side of the body.  More pain in the morning is also common.

There are things that make this pain worse. These are things such as forceful coughing, sneezing, bending and sitting for extended periods. The symptoms can cause extreme weakness and in some cases the loss of control of bowel and bladder. If you start experiencing the above symptoms, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately because if left unchecked, they might worsen, and this will only make the problem worse.

Sciatica Diagnosis

The diagnosis of sciatica includes a look at the patient’s medical history, an examination of the back, legs, and hips to test flexibility, sensation, reflexes and strength. It is important to provide information related to what you feel and the intensity of the pain. Other tests to make the diagnosis clear include MRI scans, X-ray, CT scans and nerve conduction studies.


Various physical medicine therapies are effective in treating sciatica. Dr. Anthony Cisternino is a certified chiropractor who is highly trained and experienced in rehabilitation, exercise therapy, chiropractic medicine and massage therapy. Combining all or some of these treatment techniques will get rid of the pain and discomfort caused by sciatica and solve the cause especially if it is related to the position of the vertebrae or slipped disc. The aim of this approach is to make sure the treatment does not create other problems in the form of side effects.  Our treatment has no side effects. It is highly effective and evidence based.

If you are dealing with sciatica, or any other health condition, call us today for an appointment and effective treatment.

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