So you have this sharp pain that starts in your back and goes down your leg. Guess what ? You have sciatica. Maybe you will pop a few Aleve to work your way through the pain. You will have it worse at times and sometimes it may go away for a few hours. Is it fixed? Probably not as it will return without notice at the slightest provocation. So what is it and why is it happening to you? Without getting heavily into the biomechanics of your spine here is a simple explanation. The sciatic nerve arises off the trunks of sacral nerves in the lower back. The reason you feel pain in the leg and foot is because the sciatic nerve and its nerve branches enable movement and feeling (motor and sensory functions) in the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, foot, and toes. Oh and it is very big. In fact it is the largest nerve in the body. It can be as thick as your thumb. The larger the nerve the more pain it can cause so what are you supposed to do about it?
You have to understand how your pelvis works and it’s function. The pelvis is comprised of three bones the left and right ilia and the sacrum. The pubic bones are continuous with the ilia so I am counting them as one bone.Together they form a base for the upper body. If you fall and the pelvis shifts it can put stress on the sacral nerves that can lead to sciatica. The pelvic muscles will have to pick up more load bearing due to the shift in the pelvis. The bones are static and when they are in their perspective positions they bear the load. Muscles being dynamic have blood and nerve supply that can send pain signals when stressed more readily then bones.
Let’s talk about the nerve itself. Nerves are like wires in that they carry information from the brain to all parts of the body and back to the brain. The nerve is only so long, in some cases up to three feet in length. Since the nerve is very sensitive when it is stretched beyond its physiological limits you will be notified promptly by a sharp, jolting pain. The pain if left untreated will comeback every time you stretch the sciatic nerve to far. Unfortunately, anti-inflamatories that are dished out like candy are ineffective. The tension arises from the point where the pelvic default is located. In this case it is where the sacrum and the ilium meet. This is called the SI joint.
If you address the pelvic default by re-positioning the pelvis to an anatomical correct position you will remove the physical stress placed on the muscles and more importantly the load on the sciatic nerve. Fix it and forget the pain. Pop a pill when sciatica rears its ugly head and you will go through an awful lot of Advil. Your choice. I hope you learned something from this article on sciatica.