It’s my sciatica!


my sciaticaIt’s my sciatica…or is it? ┬áThere are several different mechanisms that can cause back pain, numbness or tingling, so let’s take a moment and do a quick review to understand them better.


Each sciatic nerve (you have 2), starts when several nerve branches from your lower lumbar vertebrae and sacrum join together inside your pelvis. The nerves then travel down the back of each of your thighs, lower legs and all the way to your toes. As the sciatic nerve divides into smaller nerve branches, it delivers nerve signals to and from the muscles and skin. When lower back subluxations irritate nerves, poor movement, inflammation & associated tightening of soft tissue (muscle spasm) can cause shooting pain, weakness, numbness or tingling that often occurs along the branches of the sciatic nerve.

For those with lower back degeneration or bone spurs, it is more likely that those jagged edges of bone will irritate the nerves and cause pain. If disc damage has occurred, the nerve irritation can cause the same pain signals. It’s important to note also that 20-40% of people have disc herniation without any pain! Less than 10% of our nerves have the ability to sense pain.

Sacroiliitis (say – kroe – ill – e – i – tis)

This occurs when poor joint mechanics in the back of the pelvis cause inflammation leading to nerve irritation. Your spine sits on your sacrum which acts like a keystone in your pelvis. The sacrum creates a joint on each side of it with the ilium bones. These joints are called the sacroiliac (SI) joints. Common causes of sacroiliitis are falls, poor sleeping positions, too much sitting and difference in leg length. The SI joints also significantly increase in their mobility during pregnancy and are more easily irritated. They gain movement but sacrifice stability. These joints must work properly as they support the entire spine.

Facet Joint Inflammation

The small joints at the back of the spine are called facet joints. With overuse or degeneration (osteoarthritis), they can also become irritated. They can cause pain in the lower back, deep into the thigh, outside the thigh or to the back of the thigh. These joints can also refer pain down the legs, but in a different pattern than sciatica.


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  • I have been suffering with neck and back pain and lack of mobility since my early teens and I am now 27, but I have progressively had a harder time coping with it since I started working in Healthcare in 2019. It had gotten to the point where all I could think about was finding a different job throughout my shift because I wasn't sure how much longer I could handle it. I decided to give Chiropractic Medicine a try and I am so thankful I did! I have been going to Ancaster Family Chiropractic since July 2021 and I have experienced a significant improvement with reduced severity and frequency of pain, better range of motion in my neck and back, and I rarely have to take OTC pain medication which is something I was relying on daily beforehand. I am not even halfway through my treatment plan and I can't wait to continue experiencing improvement in my quality of life. Thank you, Dr. Neil, Sue and Deb!

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  • Dr. Neil does an incredible job at adjusting your spine so your body can heal the way it's made to. He also teaches you how to live your most healthy lives! Dr. Neil, Deb and Sue are all friendly and caring individuals, which makes for a great team of staff!

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  • Dr. Neil and the staff Deb and Sue were very helpful with dealing with my issues. I went in with a lower back pain and has been healing pretty well. I have noticed the adjustments and home exercise not only helped with the pain but also helped with my digestion issues such as bloating. They were very accommodating whenever I needed a change in visits.Overall a great place to get yourself healed.

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  • Their philosophy of health and well being is encouraging, optimistic and realistic. I appreciate the idea of leading a healthy lifestyle and preventing illness rather than simply treating the symptoms of ailments. Also, there are times unexpected benefits to chiropractic care. I wholeheartedly recommend Ancaster Family Chiropractic.

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  • I've been seeing Dr. Neil for over two years and consider his care essential to my overall well being. Dr. Neil, Deb, and Sue create a welcoming friendly environment. I greatly enjoy attending at Ancaster Family Chiropractic and I highly recommend them. Thank you for the great care you provide! Julie

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