What is the LARGEST and LONGEST spinal nerve in your body?!
Sciatic nerve! This nerve is made up of FIVE nerves (L4, L5, S1, S2, S3 spinal nerves).
What does the Sciatic nerve do?
It supplies sensation, strength, and reflexes to and from the muscles and skin of the thighs, lower legs, and feet.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a radiculopathy, secondary to a lower back (lumbar region) disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis.
The pain is located at the back and refers the pain to the hip and outer side of the leg.
It is attributed by an irritated or compressed spinal nerve root at the lower back. The compression is usually due to degeneration of a disc in between the back bones (lumbar vertebrae).
Surgery for Sciatica?
Based on a randomized clinical study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics:
“60% of patients diagnosed with sciatica and had failed other medical management benefited from chiropractic spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention.”1
Whilst the remaining 40% that didn’t benefit from spinal manipulation, underwent subsequent surgical microdiscectomy and reported the excellent outcome. 1
Therefore, individuals with sciatica and failing medical management (failed at least 3 months of treatment with analgesics, lifestyle modification, physiotherapy, and massage) should consider conservative care in the form of chiropractic spinal manipulation. If unsuccessful, surgery should then be considered, if warranted.
1. McMorland G, Suter E, Casha S, Plessis S, and Hurlbert J (2010). Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther; 33 (8): 576–584.