The largest nerve of the body.
- Each of the two sciatic nerves are formed by five nerves branching off the spinal cord and running down the back of each leg.
- Sciatica is a severe pain in the leg caused from compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve of the body, reaching about the size of your thumb in diameter and running down the back of each leg. When the nerve is irritated or affected by the inflammation or nearby soft tissues, doctors refer to this as sciatica.
One of the most common causes of sciatic leg pain is the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. It can be accompanied by the bulging or herniation of the soft discs that separate each spinal bone. This can irritate or put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord. The result can be an intense pain shooting down either or both legs.
In the past, treatment has involved pain medication, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and even surgery, which is only about 60% successful. The chiropractic approach is to use carefully directed and controlled pressure to remove the interference from spinal structures. These chiropractic “adjustments” are very effective in reducing nerve irritation and its associated pain.
Sciatica, like other health problems that can be traced to the spine, often responds dramatically to the restoration of normal spinal function through chiropractic care.