September 2010, Issue 7
Think It's Sciatica?
Learn the truth about this common ailment.
Sciatica is one of the most overused and least understood terms when talking about back pain. When most people say they have "sciatica", they usually mean they have leg pain that travels either in the front, back or side of the leg. But true Sciatica is pain along the sciatic nerve which supplies the back of the leg only. This nerve also supplies motor function to your gluteus maximus, hamstring and calf muscles.
The most common causes of Sciatic or S1 radiculopathy is a herniated disc in your lower back, compression of the nerve root in the spinal nerve canal, or tightness in a deep buttock muscle in which the sciatic nerve directly runs through. You can also have referred pain from other structures like the SI joint and facet joints. The proper term for referred pain into the leg is lumbar radiculopathy.
To help diagnose this pain, an MRI is often prescribed but not always needed. It is an overused and overpriced test that does not replace a sound clinical exam. Call us for an appointment today to help you pinpoint the source of your sciatica-like pain.
db Hands-On Video Tips
db Hands-On Videos are a series of 2 min. clips that demonstrate tips and tricks that can help you ease common aches and pains. This month Dave demonstrates a stretch for foot pain caused by Plantar Fascia.Click here to watch this month's tip.
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