Sciatica, Spine and Back
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term that is often broadly applied to describe pain that travels down the back of the leg. This may or may not be evidently radiating or stemming from the low back region. It involves a “pinched nerve” or specifically, irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica patients typically feel pain or burning along the specific line or course that the sciatic nerve runs. It begins in the central area of the buttock and travels down the back-centre of the thigh to behind the knee. At that point, the sciatic nerve splits into two nerves which travel down the rest of the lower leg – so the pain or burning may continue down the back of the lower leg, or, along the outside portion of the lower leg and into the bottom outside of the foot.
The patient may also experience leg pain or hip pain and other lower extremity symptoms or conditions. Lower back pain, or radiating and referred leg pains and symptoms can be caused from a herniated disc or from spinal stenosis.
In the case of a herniated disc, the cushioning disc-like structure located between each vertebra (bone) in the spine is strained and injured, causing it to become “herniated.” This herniated portion of the disc can then physically pinch on the nerve root within the spine causing irritation of the nerve it’s beside.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space where the nerve exits the spine. This narrowing effect can be caused by arthritic changes in the vertebrae (bones of the spine) or degenerative changes with the discs, causing them to become less thick, therefore providing less space between each vertebra.
It’s also very important to recognize but often overlooked that back spasms can also be the cause of “sciatic-like” symptoms. Muscles can become tight or irritated with repetitive use, overuse or sustained postures, particularly sitting or standing for long periods of time. As well, it can be the constant pressure of muscles on the spine that cause or facilitate degenerative conditions or injuries over time such as the herniated disc, arthritic and other degenerative effects.
Whether the patient requires sciatica treatment or treatment for back pain caused by muscle spasms or degenerative changes, our therapists will provide you with an active program of back exercises that will serve to fix the foundation of your symptoms as well as the foundation of your body – the back.
The MyoWorx® approach reveals underlying injury that should be addressed prior to additional therapy. The TM20 device used in MyoWorx® treatment is the key to unlocking the potential for results. Clinical research indicated the use of the TM20 device will get you better, sooner.
Click to view one of our studies on low back pain.