“Sciatica” May Be Misdiagnosed in Northfield

“I have pain that is coming from my low back and it is going down my leg.” “I have sciatica.”

Those a very common quotes that come into my clinic. A lot of the time this is a self-diagnosis of their symptoms. They have tried other medical interventions that only helped a little or have helped but the symptoms came back very soon after the treatment. I am always happy to see them coming in, because I can very much help them with this often misdiagnosed condition.

This is the usual accompaniment of symptoms of these individuals:

  • Pain in the low back
  • Pain in the pelvic area (tail bone)
  • Pain that radiates down the leg and stops at the knee
  • Getting up is painful
  • Sitting is uncomfortable

When the pain or radiation of pain stops at the knee this means that it is most likely not “sciatica”. It is most likely “piriformis syndrome”. This means that a buttock muscle called the piriformis is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve causing a peripheral neuropathy.

The reason that this is happening is controversial, but in my clinical experience most of the problem comes from either the spine or the pelvis. What can happen is that the spine is rotated in the wrong direction and not moving correctly. This causes the pelvis along with the sacrum (tailbone) to torque to compensate for the imbalance of bone structure and muscle. This then causes the piriformis to spasm therefore cutting off the nerve supply of the sciatic nerve.

Treatment is very simple. Find the reason for the issue and correct it. If there is structural problem, then correct that problem with a chiropractic adjustment or series of chiropractic adjustments to the back or to the pelvis. This does two things. It allows the areas to move in the correct fashion, but it also causes the proper neurological input to come from those segments allowing the brain to fires the muscles properly.

I see this condition quite frequently, and I am very happy to see it. This is because it is very treatable, and most people are so very happy to have this out of their lives.

If you are curious about piriformis syndrome or think that your “sciatica” is misdiagnoses please call 507-645-8000. We can help get you back to where you need to be. Remember that life is an adventure, be healthy for it!

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