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Holding foot and leg in painIn simple terms, sciatica refers to leg pain that can be experienced in one or both legs. The pain typically gets worse with periods of sitting or standing.

Pregnant women, those with diabetes, and people who are obese often experience this type of discomfort.

Typical Symptoms

If you have sciatica, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • Hip discomfort
  • A tingling or burning sensation down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness, or a difficult time moving your leg or foot
  • Constant discomfort affecting one side of the buttocks
  • A shooting pain that makes it challenging to stand up

What Causes It?

The pain usually originates from the sciatic nerve, but that’s not always the case. For example, a disc in your lumbar spine can bulge and push on the sciatic nerve, which produces pain. The sciatic nerve also goes through the middle of the piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks. The piriformis can squeeze the nerve tightly and cause spasm, or you can get scar tissue or adhesion between the nerve and the muscle.

Our Approach

We first look at where your sciatica is coming from. If it’s from the disc in your back, then we work on getting the joints, muscles and ligaments in the back to loosen up and start moving properly. That indirectly causes the inflammation to go down. The bulge backs off a little bit, and the pressure comes off the nerve, which will allow you to get relief.

If the pain is coming from the nerve being pinched in your piriformis muscle, we work on that muscle to relax it. Sometimes leg discomfort can be from other things; for example, it could be the muscles in your buttocks that refer the pain down. It doesn’t have to do with the nerves at all. Joints in your lower back, such as the sacroiliac or L5 joint, can become inflamed, tight and stiff, causing referred pain down the leg too.

Dr. Gleeson usually uses Muscle Release Technique, a manual soft tissue method, to address sciatica. In addition to using this approach, he provides acupuncture, which often gets good results.

Book an Appointment

If you’re experiencing sciatica, we want to help you get relief. Contact Outback Chiropractic Clinic today to schedule an appointment.



Sciatica Thunder Bay ON | (807) 768-2225