Sciatic Nerve: A Real Pain in the Bum!

12 December 2014
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While not the most graceful thing to talk about, pain in the bum is a very common thing we see in the clinic! Burning, numbness, shooting pain, and sharp pain in the glute area, and with severe cases it can shoot all the way down the back of the leg. For those of you who have experienced sciatic nerve pain, I’m sure you will agree with us that it is a very unpleasant thing to have. Learn a little more about how we can help you with sciatic pain and what causes it.

Where is The Sciatic Nerve?

The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the body. It is formed from nerves coming from down from the spine, that combine and form one big nerve. The sciatic then passes through the glutes, either travelling under or sometimes through the piriformis and the other small muscles in the area. It then passes through the hamstring muscles (muscles at the back of the thigh), and splits at the back of the knee into two different branches.

What causes Irritation to the Sciatic?

Most common causes of irritation to the sciatic nerve are:

  • Disc herniation

  • Entrapment of the nerve

1. Disc Herniation: injuries to the discs in the lower back, specifically at L4-L5 and L5-S1. The herniated disc can put pressure on the nerve roots coming out of the spine, thus causing sciatic pain. Disc injuries can occur because of trauma, but also something as simple as bending to lift something.

2. Entrapment of the nerve: The sciatic can become entrapped at several locations: at the piriformis, superior gemellus, sacral ligaments in the glutes, and even down between the hamstring muscles.

Other conditions can also cause irritation to the nerve, or similar symptoms, these include: spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, just to name a few.

What are the treatment options?

At the clinic, the first thing your provider will do is to try and isolate the root cause of the problem, through a series of orthopedic and neurologic exams. If the source is a disc, depending on how bad it is, you may be referred for an MRI to get a better look at the problem area. If conservative management is decided as the best course of action, then we will continue on with treatment. If the source is an entrapment of the nerve, these typically respond well to conservative care, specifically the ART® treatments. Treatments include:

  • Chiropractic Manipulation

  • Active Release Techniques®

  • Nerve flossing

  • and other home exercises


Don’t let a pain in the bum slow you down! Contact us today to see how we can help!

Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise

Chiropractic | Golf & Sports Injuries | Active Release Techniques (ART®)

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