Sciatica is something that affects a lot of people. But not everyone who thinks they have it does. What about you? Do you think you have sciatica? There's a quick test you can do at home (actually, you can do it almost anywhere--except the car! But I trust you're not reading this in your car!) that will determine whether you have pinched your sciatic nerve. First though, a quick background on what it is.
Sciatica is pronounced sigh-A-tica and is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and biggest nerve in the body. It basically starts at your lower back and travels down the back of your thigh into your calf ending in your foot. One way this nerve can become inflamed is due to a misalignment in the vertebrae of the lower back. A misalignment puts extra or different pressure on the nerve causing it to function differently. The extra pressure can cause a variety of inflammation responses including burning, electric shock, numbness, shooting pain or just pain.
But sometimes, you can have these kinds of symptoms and NOT have sciatica. Here's a simple test you can do to see if it's your sciatic nerve after all.
Sit normally in an ordinary upright chair, and have someone lift your good leg so it's parallel to the ground. Now bring your head towards that knee, curving your upper body. You might feel a pull or neutral pressure. Remember the feeling. Put that leg down.
Now repeat all this on the hurting leg. Does it just feel like a good stretch? Perhaps it only hurts in your back? Then chances are you DON'T have sciatica.
If the pain gets worse and travels past the knee, it's probably your sciatic nerve.
The good news is that in most cases of sciatica, chiropractic can help!
If you think you are suffering from sciatica or you're not sure, book a consultation. In 22 years of practice, I've seen quite a few patients with sciatica improve dramatically with chiropractic care.
Sciatica is terrible. Feel better. Finally.