Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief & Symptoms:

If you are looking for sciatic nerve pain relief, you have come to the right resource. It is important to educate yourself on WHAT NOT to do to aggravate your condition, as well as WHAT to do to alleviate your pain.  Your first efforts should include treatment options that are natural/conservative, that do not involve the prolonged use of medications. Surgery is not usually needed to heal Sciatic nerve pain.

The Sciatic nerve is stretched by flexion of the hip or when a person bends forward with the legs straight, so symptoms are aggravated in these positions. Dr. Horowitz’s treatments for sciatic nerve pain take these factors into account.

Sciatic nerve pain is typically felt in the buttock and radiating down the leg, but the area of depends upon which nerve root is most affected.

  • one-sided leg pain that is worse than lower back or buttock pain that may be present
  • pain radiating past the knee
  • decreased muscle strength, loss of reflexes and sensory deficits distributed in specific patterns in the leg (if advanced)

1. Sciatic Nerve Pain – Sensory Changes Including Pain, Numbness, Burning and Pins and Needles:

If the S1 Nerve is Injured:  Initial pain will occur in the buttocks and radiate down that leg, through the back of the thigh, the back and outside of the calf, sole, foot and toes. Numbness and paresthesias (pins and needles) may also be felt in these areas.

If the L5 Nerve is Injured: Initial pain is felt in the buttocks and radiate down behind the back of the thigh, to the back of the calf and then to the top and inside of the foot. The big toe might also be numb. Numbness and paresthesia (pins and needles) may also be felt in these areas.

If the L4 Nerve is Injured:  Pain and numbness would radiate down the buttocks to the back of the upper thigh but then could radiate around to the front of the shin. Symptoms typically would stop at the ankle and not descend into the foot (with rare exceptions).

Less commonly, pain radiates into the front of the thigh or groin when nerves L2 and L3 nerves are compressed and this is referred to as Femoralgia.

2. Sciatic Nerve Pain and Muscle Weakness, Difficulty Moving the leg and loss of muscles mass:

Muscles can only function properly when their nerve supply is intact and uninterrupted. A weakness of a muscle group can lead to an abnormal walking ability (called a gait disturbance)

If the S1 Nerve is Injured: Weakness will be felt in trying to stand on the toes or ball of the foot. The ability to “push off” will be weakened when walking and running and the length of stride on that leg will be shorter, creating a limp. Climbing and descending stairs will be noticeably more difficult with the weak leg. All athletic endeavours will be more limiting.

This is because the calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus) along with some Hamstring and Gluteus Maximus muscles will be weakened. When left untreated, muscle wasting and/or atrophy occur.

If the L5 Nerve is Injured:  The Tibialis Anterior, Peroneal and Gluteus Medius muscles will be affected.

L5 nerve injury leads to weakness in extending the big toe and possibly the ankle upwards. This condition is called Foot Drop and interferes with normal walking.

The Tibialis Anterior muscle is important to raise the foot up when walking and a “foot drop” occurs because the foot and toes are no longer able to lift up after pushing off the ground. The toes will catch the ground (leading to tripping) unless one of two pathological gait patterns are adopted, swinging the leg around (circumduction) or raising the leg high (steppage gait).

The Peroneal muscles stabilize the foot on the ground by contracting to prevent the foot from “turning in”. Weakness will feel like the ankle is in danger of becoming sprained with certain steps, especially if the surface of the ground is uneven.

Weakness in the Gluteus Medius will lead to an inability to pull the hip up when the other leg is on the ground while walking. During each swing of the opposite leg, he will lean to the side of weakness in an effort to pull the pelvis up due to the foot drop.

If the L4 Nerve is Injured:  May lead to weakness of the Tibialis Anterior (50% of the time) as well as Quadriceps muscles (the front thigh muscles that straighten the knee). In this case, one might feel as though the leg will “give way” at the knee by forced loading of the leg such as when climbing and especially descending stairs along with a fear of falling. With subtle weakness, the leg would fatigue towards the end of a flight of stairs.

Less commonly, nerve compressions of L2 will cause weakness in flexing the hip and that of L3 nerve causes weakness in extending the leg (quadriceps) and loss of a patellar reflex.

Sciatic Nerve Pain can be relieved and effectively treated with Chiropractic Care. Learn targeted home-exercises. If you have a specific question about relief for Sciatica Nerve Pain and are looking for some advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call My Toronto Chiropractor Clinic at (647) 349-4909 or to ask Dr. Leslie Horowitz a question, complete the form below: