Oh my psychotic nerve…

   
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Actually… it’s pronounced ‘Sci-atic Nerve’.

“Sciatica is not itself a condition; it’s a set of symptoms,” says Dr. Yoga Raja Rampersaude, a spine surgeon in the orthopaedics division of Toronto Western Hospital.

To understand sciatica, one must get acquainted with the anatomy of the lower spine, home of the sciatica nerve. The largest nerve in the body, it’s formed from several of the lower spinal nerves. Running around the back of the hip, it extends all the way down the back of the thigh. It supplies sensation and motor functions to the back thigh and most of the leg and foot.

Commonly, sciatica results from a herniation in the lower spine. Instead of acting as a cushion between the bones, the disc bulges outward and presses on the sciatic nerve.

When this happens, you may feel a shooting pain down your buttock, the back of one of your thighs, your calf, or even the sole of your foot – with or without actual back pain.  It usually involves only one leg or the other.  You may also have sensations of burning, numbness or tingling

“Symptoms can range from very mild and tolerable to completely intolerable, and you can’t get out of bed, never mind work or otherwise function,” says Dr. Rampersaud.

 “At some point in their lives, about 80% of Canadians will experience some form of back pain,” says Dr. Rampersaud, but true sciatica is much less common than low-back pain. 

Anyone can develop symptoms of sciatica , but it happen most commonly between age 30 and 50.

The good news is that even though sciatica can be extremely painful and disabling, most suffers do get better with conservative therapy: time, pain management and modified activities of daily living.

 If you’ve been suffering sciatic pain, find out how chiropractic can help you before you start to feel ‘sci-chotic’.

Canadian Health: Summer 2011:by Philip Holden page 28-31

Joel Weisberg

Dr. Joel Weisberg is the Clinic Director and Principal Doctor at Downsview Chiropractic The difference it makes to a patient when they learn, receive appropriate care, and are empowered to self-manage, is often bigger than the relief they were seeking. Dr. Weisberg is driven to make that difference to people in their pursuit of a life lived well.