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Sciatica Treatment in Williamsburg

ankle and leg painSciatica is commonly used to describe pain that starts in the low back and/or buttocks and travels down the back of the leg – sometimes reaching all the way to the calf, foot, and toes. Activities like sitting or running can worsen the pain, and some people describe it as a shooting or laser-like sensation down the leg.

What Causes Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that forms where the lower back (lumbar) nerves come together. It travels down the back of the thigh and leg, controlling movement and sensation in these areas. The sciatic nerve can be irritated or compressed in various ways, leading to sciatica.

One common culprit is the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock area. When this muscle is chronically irritated, it can mechanically irritate the nearby sciatic nerve or chemically irritate it through a substance called “substance P,” which is associated with pain.

Pain in the buttock region and down the leg can also arise from lower back joints or the sacroiliac joints (where the base of the spine and pelvis meet). Nerves that supply these joints also supply the associated muscles and connective tissues. As a result, irritation in one area can cause referred pain in related areas.

Nerve root pain is another common cause of sciatic pain. This occurs because of conditions like a bulging or herniated disc. When the discs between the spinal bones bulge or fail, they can irritate the nerves in the lower back that send signals down the thigh and calf.

Preventing and Managing Sciatica

The key to effectively treating any condition, whether in a car or the human body, is identifying the source of the problem and addressing it appropriately. With sciatica, it is crucial for doctors to differentiate between the various sources of pain mentioned above and provide the right treatment.

Chiropractors like Dr. Shaye are highly trained in anatomy, including the neurology of disc, low back, muscle, and joint problems.

Medical doctors will sometimes recommend injections and pills (anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers) for sciatica, but these rarely provide a true “fix.” While physical therapy techniques like ice, ultrasound, and electrotherapy can play a role in treating sciatica and back pain, these are not the only options. Acupuncture has shown promise in managing various pain syndromes, including sciatica. Sometimes, ergonomic changes can be helpful. For instance, avoid sitting on a wallet in the back pocket, which can irritate the sciatic nerve or piriformis muscle and unbalance the pelvis. Simple self-care measures, such as moving the wallet to the front pocket, can be a good starting point for some patients.

Chiropractic Care, Nutrition & Hydration

Chiropractic management is often ideal for conditions like piriformis syndrome. While some doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or even inject botulism extracts directly into the piriformis muscle, chiropractors focus on treating the affected tissues and movement patterns at fault. Doctors of chiropractic also address ergonomically incorrect behaviors that may worsen the condition. Doctors of chiropractic also use specialized techniques to target disc-related pathologies when present.

Besides physical treatments, chiropractors may also advise on nutritional factors that affect inflammation. Hydration is another topic that your chiropractor may address, since the intervertebral disc contains significant amounts of water. However, the most crucial aspect of chiropractic care is addressing joint, muscle, and nervous system patterns that contribute to prolonged pain. Manual manipulation of spinal joints, soft tissues, and related areas can have a powerful effect on chronic and debilitating conditions like sciatica.

Book an Appointment

If you’ve been putting up with sciatica, we want to help you get relief naturally. Contact Performance Chiropractic today to book an appointment with Dr. Shaye!


Sciatica Treatment Williamsburg,VA | (757) 229-4161