Chiropractic seems to be a tailor-made treatment for sciatica, the condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the lower back, tingling and numbness in the lower extremities, and shooting pains that make it difficult to stand up. The sciatic nerve is the longest in the human body, the length of a small finger, and it runs from the spinal column in the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down the leg. Whenever this nerve is irritated, to any degree, you can experience the symptoms listed above and more. The two most common causes of sciatica are herniated discs and impingement of the piriformis muscle.
Herniated disc creates sciatic nerve pain the same way that subluxation can affect any nerve exiting the spinal column. With subluxation, a misaligned vertebra puts pressure on the nearby nerve creating interference that can lead to pain or stiffness. A herniated disc is a more serious version of this: when the cartilaginous material in the disc cracks, the disc bulges causing impingement to the nerve. Chiropractic adjustment and spinal traction is great for improving pain and restoring range of motion, while also combatting the build up of inflammation that naturally occurs.
The piriformis is a muscle that runs underneath the glutes and when it becomes strained or tight, it can also irritate the sciatic nerve. Trigger point therapy is excellent at getting into this problematic area and releasing the tension. So yes, it is technically massage, but of a more intesne variety. Sciatic nerve pain is a cause for lost quality of life and lost productivity in the workplace that can be avoided with enough proactivity on your part and help from your Hackensack chiropractor!
Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C.