Physical Stress
June 20, 2023

What Is That Shooting Pain Down My Leg?


Sciatica sufferers know the debilitating symptoms well: shooting pain down from the low back into one or both of the buttocks and legs. Often one of the frustrating parts of sciatica is that the origin of the condition can be elusive. A damaged or degenerative spinal disc or vertebra can put pressure on a nerve root leading to the sciatic nerve, causing radiating sensations into the extremity. The cause can also be a tight muscle or inflammation around the sciatic nerve. All of these can impede proper communication from the central nervous system out into the tissues and cells of the leg.

How Do You Know If You Have Sciatica?

Sciatica symptoms include: pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling radiating from the low back or buttock into the leg and/or foot. Certain movements like bending over or lifting the leg may exacerbate the symptoms. Coughing and sneezing can also bring on sudden worsening of the pain.

Where Does Sciatica Come From?

Sciatica may follow a major trauma like a sports injury or fall. Or it can come on insidiously, from poor lifestyle habits over time. Poor core strength, being overweight or obese, a sedentary lifestyle, and repetitive movements in poor posture can all bring on sciatica. Office workers and those who now work from home are prone to these injuries as they sit in poor posture for hours, doing the same small movements repetitively. Think about slumping over your laptop in the same position for an hour or more, and how the legs and low back do not get a chance to move and bring blood flow into the lower half of the body.

Pregnant women can also be susceptible to sciatica as the body goes through rapid hormonal and postural changes as pregnancy progresses and the baby grows in size, shifting internal organs, putting new pressure on the structures of the lower body.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Sciatica?

Chiropractic care addresses the root cause of symptoms and disease. When assessing a person, chiropractors look to the spine and nervous system to find areas of subluxation: a mechanical dysfunction of a vertebra, impacting the body’s ability to self-regulate, communicate, heal, and repair. Rather than just trying to cover up symptoms, chiropractors find the underlying cause of the issue. If someone is suffering with a subluxation, chiropractors adjust that area of the spine to create better movement, reduce inflammation, break up scar tissue, and allow the body to heal itself.

As chiropractors, our holistic approach goes beyond symptom-focused care to heal and optimize your entire body. Using a synergistic combination of gentle and specific chiropractic adjustments, correction of poor lifestyle habits and a tailor-made exercise program, we create bespoke treatment plans for each client to effectively address the underlying issues behind sciatica. Rather than struggling through your sciatica pain, book an appointment with your local chiropractor and find out more about how they can help your body heal.


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