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What Is Sciatica?

April 4, 2016

Do you have pain, numbness, tingling or heaviness running down one or both legs?

Do you have pain in your knee, hip, ankle or foot…AND your lower back?

If so, then you may have a condition called “SCIATICA”…
The Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.

It is actually 2 nerves.(Here's a better picture)

nerves only

It starts in the lower back…and travels down the back of the leg.

The sciatic nerve splits into two nerves behind the knee…and travels into the lower leg, ankle and foot.

Sciatica is usually caused by a problem in the back or pelvis.
How Can a Problem in My Back Cause Pain, Numbness, Tingling or Heaviness in My Legs?

Have you ever used a garden hose?

What happens when you’re spraying the hose…and the water pressure completely dies off?

You look for the “kink” in the hose, right?

It’s the same idea with your sciatic nerve…

If you have pain, numbness, tingling or heaviness in one or both legs…then you’re getting pressure on the sciatic nerve…most likely in your back…(just like the kink in the hose)…

Relieve the pressure on the nerve…and the pain, numbness, tingling or heaviness goes away.
What Types of Problems in My Back Can Cause Sciatica?

There are 3 Common Causes of sciatica:

1. Herniated Discs

disc bulge

2. Stenosis (arthritis or disc degeneration)


3. Pelvis or SI Joint Problems

SI Joint

How Can I Treat It Successfully?

Well first, we need to take a look at what’s causing your sciatica…

This is done with movement tests we do here at Superior Physical Therapy.

We can look at any results of X-rays or MRIs you may have too (although you don’t necessarily need them)…and get an idea of which one…or two causes you most likely have.

After that we design a treatment program based on what is specifically causing your sciatica.

Most often that treatment consists of:

1. An Assessment of the entire body (Our personal full body assessment is pictured below called 3D Maps)

Gray Institute

2. Hands-on Physical Therapy
3. Exercise to make your muscles stronger and improve your mobility

Super Important Point on Sciatica Treatment…

One of the biggest mistakes someone with sciatica can make is to think they have the same problem…or the same cause…as someone else they know with sciatica.

But here’s the deal…each of the 3 causes above has a different treatment program specifically for that problem.

So someone with stenosis or arthritis going through the treatment for herniated discs…actually makes the sciatica worse…

And that person may think, “Well…I tried Physical Therapy…and it didn’t work for me…”

Unfortunately, this happens with Physical Therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy…and just about every other healthcare service.

We’ve Reviewed Our Records for People Who Successfully Overcome Sciatica…Naturally…with Physical Therapy…and We Found This…

Sciatica sufferers who do the best and get back to normal again…and avoid surgery…tend to talk the most with the Physical Therapist…

They let the PT know what is working…what is not.

Pretty simple, right?

Have a Question about Sciatica?

Email me at andrewg@thesuperiortherapy.com I’d love hear from you…let me know how you’re doing…and share your story with me…
P.S. We are hosting a [FREE] Low Back Pain and Sciatic Workshop and If you would like more details click here or call 231.944.6541 to register.


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