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Sciatica: Finding the Source in an Unexpected Place


Sciatica is an extremely painful health condition related to inflammation or irritation of a nerve close to the spine. It is estimated that about 5% of those experiencing back pain also suffer from sciatica. Some factors that could cause sciatica pain to increase include:

  • Walking
  • Climbing stairs
  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Squatting down

Most of the time, sciatica only affects one leg. However, symptoms are varied and can include feelings such as:

  • Stabbing, searing pain
  • Aching
  • Pins and needles

One way to help alleviate sciatica pain is by standing and stretching. Although this is only temporary relief, it does work. Doctors will often suggest corticosteroid injections, anti-inflammatory drugs, and maybe even surgery in more severe cases. While these things may aid in controlling the symptoms, they do not address the root cause. In some cases, even after these treatments, sciatica returns.

Improper Neck Alignment

It may seem unlikely that pain in the lower back could be coming from the neck. Let’s see, though, how the body works in order to appreciate how this is true.

As you probably already know, the spinal cord is a vital component of the body’s operations. It is responsible for transmitting signals to and from the body and brain. Several nerves branch off the spinal cord. The spinal cord is protected by the spinal column. If the C1 vertebra, also called the atlas, is misaligned, stress and tension on the spinal cord is often the result. When there is tension, improper signals are sent to the brain that leads to postural imbalance, pain, and muscle spasms.

Postural imbalance, or poor posture, irritates the nerves because the body has to compensate for the improper posture. This can cause inflammation in the nerves, leading to sciatica pain.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help

In one study, a 45-year-old woman suffered from sciatica in both legs. She explored upper cervical chiropractic care, and after one month of adjustments to her C1 vertebra, she reported that sciatica in her left leg diminished. Her right leg pain improved nearly 60%. After 6 months of upper cervical care, her pain decreased nearly 98%!

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