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Q: What is sciatica, and how is it treated?

Posted February 06, 2013 in Advice Column, Johnston

A: Thousands of people each year are diagnosed with sciatica — radiating pain down one or both legs. If you’re reading this article you or someone you know has most likely been told they suffer from this problem. Sciatica by definition is pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg. It is caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve.  It is important to remember that sciatica is a symptom of another medical problem, not a medical condition on its own, and proper assessment and treatment should be done to determine the underlying cause. Some common causes of sciatica are slipped/herniated discs, piriformis syndrome, pelvic/lumbar spine injury or misalignment.

Assessment and treatment of this condition should be based around the ability to attain centralization, or drawing the radiation of symptoms back up the affected extremity towards the lumbar spine or point of origin. The most researched approach to centralization or improvement of sciatica utilizes the McKenzie method, which can be performed right here in our office. This method encourages patient independence and self reliance.

Information provided by Dr. Aaron Rector, Active Wellness, 8711 Windsor, Parkway, Suite 7, 867-2900.

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