What is Sciatica and Leg Nerve Pain ?

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica refers to an inflammation of the sciatic nerve, an important nerve that originates in the nerves in the lower lumbar spinal cord and extends into the buttock and down the leg. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.

What Causes Sciatica?

There are four major causes of sciatica: A HERNIATED OR BULGING DISC, SPINAL STENOSIS, FACET JOINT CONDITIONS, AND NERVE ENTRAPMENT.

How is Sciatica Is Caused By A BULGING, HERNIATED or SLIPPED Disc?

A bulging or herniated disc puts pressure on the root of the spinal nerve as it exits the spinal cord.  A zone of inflammation is created that can also inflame the sciatic nerve.

It is important to note that most cases of lumbar disc herniation and bulging discs do not require surgery.  Disc herniation and bulging discs can be treated with a non-surgical protocol, Cox flexion distraction, a well-researched, gentle, non-surgical approach to treating discs.  Dr. Strasser, a Portland chiropractor, is a specialist in Cox flexion distraction protocol and has successfully treated disc herniation and bulging discs for over 2o years.

How Does SPINAL STENOSIS Cause Sciatica?

Spinal stenosis is a chronic narrowing of the bony canal or the spinal column through which the nerve travels. When the mechanics of the spine and pelvis become disturbed, this can cause the nerve in the narrowed canal to become inflammed which can contribute to sciatic nerve pain. 

Dr. Strasser has had excellent results treating spinal stenosis with Cox flexion distraction protocol.

How do FACET JOINT CONDITIONS Cause Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Facet Joints are round ligamentous joints that link vertebra in the spine and allow the gliding motion that occurs between spinal segments.  Facet joint sprains and wear and tear of these joints can disturb the mechanics of the spine.  Sometimes the result is muscle spasm and resultant sciatic nerve entrapment leading t0 sciatica. 

Dr. Strasser utilizes gentle Chiropractic manipulation, Osteopathic techniques and manual therapies to treat facet joint injuries and conditions.

What Is NERVE ENTRAPMENT And How Does It Cause Leg Pain?

Mechanical imbalances in the spine and pelvis, disc degeneration without herniation, and spinal joint restrictions can lead to muscular tightness (hypertonicity) that can cause “entrapment” (or trapping) of the sciatic nerve. Dr. Strasser utilizes manual and muscle therapies, gentle chiropractic spinal manipulation, pelvic blocking, and other approaches to correct mechanical imbalances that contribute to entrapment.  Specific muscle techniques are used to address the piriformis muscle to help in treating sciatic nerve entrapment.

How is Sciatica diagnosed?

A detailed neurological, orthopedic chiropractic examination, sometimes with imaging and x-ray studies as necessary, identifies sciatica and its cause.  Dr. Strasser also examines your entire spine as well as alignment and posture to see your low back pain in the context to the whole body.

Dr. Strasser is always available to answer questions you may have regarding sciatica, leg pain and low back pain and injury.

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