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Oct 2019


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The sciatic nerve is the strongest and longest of the peripheral nerves of the body. It primarily provides motor supply (signal) to the hamstrings, lower leg and foot muscles and sensory supply to the posterior (back of the leg), most of the front of the leg and lower legs and foot. The sciatic nerve branches into two independent nerves just above the knee called the tibial and peroneal nerves. Sciatica tends to affect only one side of the body and due to its location, can often be misdiagnosed as Piriformis Syndrome which is similar in pain involvement. However, there are orthopedic tests that can differentiate the two conditions.

Signs & Symptoms of Sciatica

  • Pain in the rear of the leg especially when sitting
  • Burning or tingling sensation running down the leg.
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Constant pain on the side especially near buttocks side
  • Shooting pain that may make it difficult to stand up
  • Pain can often extend from the lower back to the back of the thigh and sometimes further down to the foot
  • Sciatica can be a very severe and debilitating condition, often affecting everything one does from sitting, standing, walking, sleeping, and seemingly cannot get comfortable no matter the position.

Pain Patterns

Some causes of Sciatica

  • Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) can cause sciatica when the discs breakdown in the lower back
  • Caused by an irritation of the nerve roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine
  • Lumbar spine stenosis or a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back
  • Pregnancy
  • Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one vertebra slips forward over another one
  • Being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels can all make back pain worse.


Treatment of Sciatica

  • Reducing pain and inflammation to first manage pain symptoms
  • Restoring lost function and ability by increasing range of motion, increasing strength in the weak muscles that may be contributing to sciatica
  • Reducing the irritation or condition causing sciatica

For more information contact us at 905-273-5433 or at


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