What is Sciatica?
Sciatica, by definition, is the irritation of the longest and widest nerve in the human body: the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is typically characterized by pain, numbness, tingling, or even weakness where the sciatic nerve travels. This includes the lower back, butt muscles, hamstring (back of the thigh), calf, and even the foot. More often than not, sciatic symptoms are only on one side of the body. This condition is most common in 19+ year old individuals but may also occur in younger people. It is different than a lumbar disc injury because disc pain is characterized by low back pain with pain that does not go past the knee and has a much different treatment approach.
Sciatica needs to be diagnosed properly because it can mimic other low back complaints (disc protrusions and piriformis syndrome are the most common two). The best treatment for sciatica includes lumbar and sacral (tailbone) adjustments, muscle therapy (stretches and trigger point therapy to name a few techniques), and traction.