Help, I’ve got sciatica?

Help, I’ve got sciatica?

What causes sciatica? One of the most common things people complain of, when the come to see us, is sciatica.  When we ask where is hurts, some point to their leg, some to their back and a few to their shoulder. Clearly not everyone is clear exactly what it is, so what is sciatica?  Sciatica is not, strictly speaking, a medical diagnosis, it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition.  It is a lay term for pain that extends down the leg; pain that can really, really, really hurt! Common symptoms of sciatica: Most often it starts in the lower back and travels into the thigh; it can travel further down the leg to the foot and toes Sciatica is not only felt as pain, it can be felt as a burning or tingling sensation In advanced cases there can be numbness or weakness of the leg muscles Sciatica mostly affects one leg, rarely does it affect both What causes sciatica? A bit of anatomy to begin with.  Sciatica gets its name from the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve runs from your low back down each of your legs to your toes.  It is formed from the nerve roots (nerves that come out of the spine) L4-S3 at the bottom of the spine.  All these nerve roots join together to form the largest nerve in the human body; about the size of your index and middle finger together.  The sciatic nerves feeds each of your legs with messages from the brain and back again.  This allows you to move your legs and walk, feel sensation when something touches...
What is a ‘trapped nerve’?

What is a ‘trapped nerve’?

What is a ‘trapped nerve’? Most people who come to see us at The Chiropractic Centre: Bristol have a form of ‘trapped nerve’ causing their pain.  A lot of Chiropractors will also call this ‘trapped nerve’ a ‘subluxation’.  The question is, what is a trapped nerve?  To start with your nerves go everywhere throughout your body.  They nerves control everything; every movement, sensation, thought and emotion.  They do this by linking your brain to your body.  Your brain is like a big computer that sends messages down through the spinal cord and out through the nerves between each vertebrae to the whole body.  In fact, you have so many of them that if you removed every cell apart from your nerves you would still be recognisable!  So you can see, the nerves of your body are very important indeed! So how do these nerves get trapped? Well, there are many different ways to trap a nerve, however I’m going to explain the one that we see most commonly.  The spinal column and nerves are housed within the spine. Trapped nerves are mostly caused by a build up of poor posture and stress A trapped nerve is caused by two things: big traumas, like a car crash or falling down the stairs, or, most commonly, small repetitive traumas, like poor posture and stress.  So essentially it is because of our modern lifestyles that we don’t look after our spines very well.  So when these traumas happen to the spine the vertebrae (the spine bones) that are designed to move freely can stiffen up.  When a joint in the spine does not work properly then...