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Sciatica is a condition that causes pain in the lower back, which travels down the buttock and leg. It typically affects one side, but it can affect both legs. The pain can manifest as a deep ache, shooting pains, burning, numbness, or pins and needles.

The sciatic nerve comprises several nerves that join together from five spinal levels: L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3. Irritation or pressure on the nerves at one or more levels can lead to sciatica. Disc inflammation or herniation, facet joint inflammation, sacroiliac joint lesions, or spasms in the piriformis muscle in the buttock can cause irritation.

To determine the source of the pain, a detailed history and thorough exam are necessary. Orthopedic tests can target discs, facet joints, and sacroiliac joints. Although imaging may not always be required, it can be considered if sciatica does not improve after conservative care or if the muscles in the lower limb are weak.

The treatment for sciatica depends on the cause of the irritation. Conservative chiropractic care can help, but more severe cases may require a referral to a medical practitioner. Although cortisone injections can reduce inflammation in discs or facet joints, they often do not solve the problem.

At Farrelly Chiropractic, we have treated thousands of sciatica cases and are experts in diagnosing and treating sciatica. Our treatment plan may include gentle manipulation and adjustments, flexion distraction, nerve gliding, active release technique, massage, and exercises.