If you've found this page it’s probably because you think you may have sciatica but aren't sure. What you DO know is that you literally have a pain in the butt! You're wondering if its sciatica and what you should do about it.

Technically speaking, sciatica is a symptom not a diagnosis. Although it is mistakenly used to describe any types of leg pain, true sciatica means an irritation of the sciatica nerve along its pathway giving rise to symptoms of pain radiating from the buttock down the back of the upper leg and then continues down the back or side of the lower leg. Symptoms can vary from extreme pain to a mild sensation in the leg or buttock.

Typically, sciatic pain increases on exertion or bending forward. There may be numbness in the area of pain or weakness in the leg, especially when standing on the toes or heels. Pain may be triggered by coughing or straining while on the toilet and can be so severe that the lower back becomes locked in sideways bending position. Alternatively, it may only come on when sitting, standing in a certain positions or when you walk.

The location and character of the pain, aggravating and relieving factors and clinical tests are all clues to the source of the problem. For example, a disc herniation pressing on the nerve might give quite a different pattern of pain as compared to the leg pain coming from a nerve entrapped in a muscle or an irritated joint referring pain down the leg. Depending on the cause, the treatment might be quite different.

Dr. Bryan Douglas is a chiropractor treating conditions such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and disc injuries in Emporia.
Dr. Bryan Douglas is licensed as a chiropractor in the State of Kansas.

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