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Is Sciatica Really Causing Your Back Pain

By Sara Butler

It's not uncommon for the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic to hear patients refer to the back pain they're experiencing as sciatica. After all, the sciatic nerve is the largest in your body and when it gets irritated, you sure do feel it! But in reality, according to the American Chiropractic Association, only about 10 percent of back pain is caused by the sciatic nerve. Here's how you can tell the difference between back pain and sciatica and how the chiropractors at The Joint can help you find relief no matter what the cause.

What is Sciatica?

To differentiate sciatica from other types of back pain, you first have to know what it is. Sciatica is simply a fancy word for nerve pain -- the specific pain coming from one nerve, that is. The sciatic nerve travels down both your legs from your lower back. When it becomes irritated, then you may experience lower back pain as well as numbness, tingling, weakness, or shooting pain down your legs along the nerve's pathway.

Sciatica may be the result of other conditions such as lumbar spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, or degenerative disc disease. While many people refer to the pain they experience in their lower backs or legs as sciatica, there are other causes.

Other Conditions

If you're having pain in your lower back or legs and it's not caused by sciatica, then what could it be? There are a few things that can mimic sciatic pain, including:

  • Arthritis - If you have joint issues in your spinal joints then it can sometimes cause pain that radiates down the legs.
  • Piriformis syndrome - The piriformis is a muscle in your buttocks that can irritate the sciatic nerve. This issue isn't caused by the sciatic nerve but by the muscle, so it's not sciatica.
  • Joint dysfunction - The joints in your pelvis can suffer from joint dysfunctions that produce lower back, leg, and hip pain.

Don't Self-Diagnose!

You may think you have sciatica but it's never a good idea to self-diagnose. Instead, get to The Joint Chiropractic for an evaluation. The chiropractor can help to uncover what is going on. It may be sciatica or it might be something else entirely -- but you can't treat it properly if you don't know what is causing your pain and discomfort.

If you have back pain, then don't wait to see the chiropractors at The Joint. They can help you get to the heart of the issue and start you on the path to a healthier spine and less pain in the process.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Magnolia, Tex.

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