Leg pain often derives from compression of the sciatic nerve, and that is where the name, sciatica, comes from. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body. As smaller nerves exit the spine they join together to form the sciatic nerve which then travels down the entire length of each leg, dividing again into smaller nerves as it reaches the knees and the lower legs. Sciatica can be pain at any point along the course of the sciatic nerve. This could be from the lower back down to the hips or buttocks, all the way down into our legs, feet and toes.
Sciatica pain originates in the low back or buttock then travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity: minimal, moderate, severe; and in frequency: occasional, intermittent, frequent or constant. It is described as sharp or achy, or dull and toothache-like pain, pins and needles or similar to electric shocks. Other symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations.
Sciatica results generally after other imbalances have already taken place in the body. It is recognized in holistic care that it is generally associated with stress syndrome. Under stress, the very important and powerful sartorius muscle (in the front of the thigh that runs from the pelvis to the inside of the knee) weakens. When that occurs, the pelvic bone on the side of sartorius weakness rotates and then can compress the sciatic nerve. Also, the piriformis muscle which stabilizes the pelvis can be in spasm (or weakness) and contribute to sciatic nerve compression.
Dr. Davis employs several different chiropractic approaches to the correction of sciatica, individually tailored in each case to provide the most rapid recovery in the most gentle way. In the acute stage, cryotherapy (cold pack) therapy is very useful and placement of wedge-like blocks to reposition the pelvis. This is a very gentle technique. When the acute and most painful stage is past, gentle spinal manipulation is undertaken. Surprisingly, reflex areas in the neck can contribute to sciatica and therefore adjustments of the neck (cervical spine) are often needed. Complete care with applied kinesiology provides a comprehensive approach toward removing the causes of this condition.
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