Symptoms:  Symptoms of sciatica range from local pain in the buttock or lower back to a sharp pain in the lower back and numbness and tingling down through the buttock, back of the thigh and into the lower leg and foot.  If the cause is a herniated disk, the location of the pain will be specific — down the buttock, the back of the thigh, into the lower leg and in the big toe. This is called “radicular” or “radiating” pain.

If the cause of the pain is due to muscle or other tissue injury, it will be more diffuse and broadly felt (in the whole foot, for example, rather than just the toe). This is called “referred” pain. Referred pain can manifest as pain down one or both legs and can even switch from one leg to the other without warning or reason.

Sciatica - Chiropractic SymptomsOverview: Sciatica commonly manifests itself as pain down the leg.  Sciatica gets its name from the sciatic nerve, which has its roots in your lumbar (lower) spine, runs down through your thigh, into the leg and foot. Sciatica strikes when the sciatic nerve is irritated or aggravated, which can cause local pain as well as referred pain down the entire leg.

The sciatic nerve originates as five nerve roots exiting the lumbar spine. Its construction is analogous to the fingers and forearm, where the nerve roots that exit from the spinal cord are like your fingers and the nerve itself is like your forearm. As the sciatic nerve makes its way down the thigh, lower leg and into the foot, smaller nerves branch off, supplying messages to joints, muscles, ligaments and other soft tissue structures.

Sciatic pain may be aggravated by simply sitting, straining on the toilet, as well as coughing or sneezing. Generally twisting and bending-forward movements are the worst. For that reason, activities like golf, tennis, hockey and running commonly exacerbate symptoms of sciatica.

Diagnosing the condition is not particularly difficult, but determining its true cause can be tricky. There are five main conditions that can irritate or aggravate the sciatic nerve:

1. Disk herniations (neurogenic sciatica)

Bulging or herniated disks can cause compression on the nerve roots or initiate an inflammatory response that irritates nerve roots.

2. Muscles (myogenic sciatica)

Tight piriformis and gluteus muscles can squeeze or put tension on the sciatic nerve.

3. Joints (scleretogenous sciatica)

The joints of the lower back (called “facets”) or pelvis, like the sacroiliac joints, are common causes of referred pain in the buttock and thigh and lower back.

4. Neurogenic claudication

The nerve roots that exit the spinal cord and form the sciatic nerve exit through little holes in the spine called intervertebral foramen (literally, holes between the vertebrae). Normally, the holes, formed by the bony spine, are big enough for the roots to exit through without difficulty. Sometimes, however, disease, trauma or arthritis can cause the diameter of these holes to diminish. This can aggravate or irritate the nerve and cause sciatica. In some cases the bony hole may have a spur or sharp bony structure that actually touches the nerve root, further aggravating the condition.

5. Space-occupying lesion

A space-occupying lesion refers to any growth that may be impinging on the spinal cord, nerve roots or peripheral nerves. Some of the causes of sciatica previously cited fall into this category (especially disk herniation or foraminal encroachment). However, there are other space-occupying lesions that can cause sciatica, including tumor growth, organ enlargement (from an underlying disease) or even severe scar tissue formation from previous surgeries. In addition, some women complain of sciatica after they receive an epidural during labor.

Once there is inflammation or irritation involving one of these conditions, a person may feel a “hot fire” in the lower back. It is essential that proper diagnosis of the true cause of your sciatica is diagnosed before treatment begins.  Even if you are feeling better, the underlying cause may still linger, and flare ups are common unless the root cause of the problem is properly managed. Dr. Suzan Starler, D.C. has been treating patients with both acute and chronic sciatic pain since 1993. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, please do not hesitate to call for your consult!

Facebook Posts

The Happiness Heroes
If anyone out there needed a quick Friday smile...this is it. #HappinessHeroes
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Good morning! Check out this article by Dana Poblete! I agree!

Why Salad Might Not Be The Best Choice After All

September 24, 2015
by Dana Poblete for Thrive Market

Why Salad Might Not Be The Best Choice After All

Have you heard? Salad is Public Enemy No. 1 right now—much to the dismay of faithful dieters everywhere, and a delight to all of its naysayers.
Let’s be totally honest: How often have we sat down to lunch and stared into a pile of lettuce wishing it would morph into something more tantalizing? Plenty. But the health benefits are worth the sacrificial sad salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and a few carrot shavings, right? Wrong.

Salad is a sly one at inspiring the health halo effect. But its role in the human diet and the environment is anything but angelic. Lettuce is little more than a glorified garnish to heaps of other fillers like celery and cucumbers, and all too often, these ingredients swim in high-calorie dressing with the sodium content of a salt lick. And just because a salad is green, doesn’t mean it’s green. Lettuce alone requires its fair share of water and fossil fuels to get from farm to table, where it delivers only a nominal amount of nutrition.
But don’t get us wrong; salad can often be a smart and satisfying meal option. Here are six do’s and don’ts to ensure a sad salad will never be had again.

Do it yourself.

Don’t pat yourself on the back for ordering a Cobb salad from a chain restaurant.
A typical California Cobb salad—topped with bleu cheese, ranch, and bacon—from a national chain restaurant could have as much as 1,030 calories and a whopping 1,680 milligrams of sodium. A safer way to ensure a healthier salad: Make it at home where you can handpick the most nutritious ingredients and control the portions.

Do start with nutrient-rich greens.

Don’t stick to plain lettuce.
In 2011, lettuce was grown on 206,000 acres of California’s 25.3 million acres of total farm land. That’s a lot considering it’s only slightly more nutritious than water, which comprises about 96 percent of each leaf. Okay, all vegetables are mostly water—but still, iceberg lettuce pales in comparison to other greens like kale and spinach when it comes to nutritional value. (One hundred grams of spinach contains 188 percent of daily requirements for vitamin A and 47 percent for vitamin C, compared to the same amount of iceberg lettuce, which provides 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively.)
And have you tasted iceberg lettuce? We haven’t. (Get it?) Try arugula, also known as rocket, for a salad with a peppery bite. Better nutrition and more flavor just from ditching plain old lettuce? Sounds like an easy win.

Do throw in tons of colorful vegetables.

Don’t throw together a bunch of garnishes.
Just like lettuce, cucumber and radishes contain very little nutrition on top of high water density compared to other vegetables. Some people claim celery is a negative-calorie food, meaning it may require more energy to digest than the energy it actually delivers to the body. Although this is a controversial point, why load a salad with fillers when there are a rainbow of vegetables out there that can pack essential vitamins and minerals into a single meal?
Be adventurous and add in some sautéed Brussels sprouts or mushrooms, or roast some sweet potatoes to mix into a salad for plenty of nutrition and an added dimension of flavor and texture. Sweet potatoes are among the vegetables with the lowest water content (about 77 percent). Plus, cooked vegetables are typically easier to digest than a fully raw salad.

Do add healthy protein.

Don’t add processed protein.
The easy way to salad nirvana is to pile on barbecued or fried chicken strips, maybe a handful of cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. It’s tempting, but it’s a quick way to negate the whole point of eating salad. Instead, go for a healthy dose of protein in the form of a hard-boiled egg. Sustainable tuna and wild-caught salmon are also great options, and provide essential omega-3 fatty acids. For vegetarians and vegans, try flaxseeds, which also contain omega-3s, as well as legumes like garbanzo beans. If you gotta have the cheese and the sour cream, opt for organic, and do it in moderation.

Do experiment with homemade dressings.

Don’t reach for store-bought ranch or bleu cheese every time.
We get it—sometimes it feels like only excess amounts of oil and croutons can save a salad. But one serving of bleu cheese dressing can contain about 142 calories and 280 milligrams of sodium—more than all the rest of the salad ingredients combined, in some cases. A simple homemade citrus vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil, champagne vinegar, lemon juice and zest, cracked black pepper, and sea salt will do the trick. Keep dressing portions to two tablespoons.

Do compost uneaten salad.

Don’t throw it in the garbage.
It’s easy to be overly ambitious about a commitment to eating salad; greens can turn into slime quickly in the fridge when we’re rushing to and from work and enjoying more decadent lunches and dinners out. That may be why 1 billion pounds of lettuce ends up in landfills each year. If salad ingredients go to waste, don’t throw them in the garbage; it’s destined to rot in a landfill, releasing methane into the atmosphere. Instead, make an effort to compost your greens so that they can go right back into the soil. Ultimately, be mindful of how much lettuce and other produce you will realistically eat.

If you’ve been looking for a reason to pass on the salad, go ahead and skip it in favor of another nutritious, veggie-heavy meal like a stir fry or veggie bowl.

But if you wholeheartedly love it, or a salad is the most conscientious option next to a double cheeseburger and fries, go for a big bowl of greens. Just go the extra mile and choose your salad ingredients wisely.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook