Sciatica is a term for pain that radiates down the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down the back of your legs. Typically sciatica affects only one side of your body. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body. If you are experiencing pain in your lower back that is radiating into your buttock or gluteal region, or even down one or both of your legs, it could be an indication of a sciatic nerve or disc issue. Remember, sciatica is a symptom and not a disorder on itself.
There are several ways the sciatic nerve can become irritated. Inflamed or “bulging” or “herniated” discs can put pressure on the nerve up-stream of the sciatic nerve, causing symptoms down the legs. Additionally, the sciatic nerve can become compressed or irritated anywhere along its path down the leg. A common area of entrapment is the Piriformis muscle, a small muscle on the back of your hip responsible for hip motion. Dr. Damir Simunac has extensive training in sciatic nerve release, including ART (Active Release Technique) Long Tract Nerve Entrapment certification.
Treatment typically consists of a proper assessment and evaluation to determine whether the sciatica symptoms are a result of a peripheral nerve entrapment or a more central lesion such as a disc bulge. Once the proper diagnosis has been established, treatment typically consists of chiropractic adjustments or manipulation to the lumbar spine and or SI (sacroiliac joint), extremity manipulation or adjustments to the hip, knee and ankle, soft tissue work such as ART, functional dry needling, and nerve gliding exercises.