Pain that starts in the lower back or buttocks and radiates into the back of the leg is caused by sciatica.

Sciatica is usually a symptom of a spine-related disorder (SRD) involving the lower back.

Sciatica is a type of nerve pain that develops when your sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, causing pain that starts in the lower back or buttocks and radiates into the back of the leg.

Your sciatic nerve is the thickest, longest nerve in your body. It’s made up of five nerve roots that exit from the lumbar and sacral spine, join together in the buttocks, and then travel down the back of your leg on both sides of your body.

Sciatica causes mild to severe pain along the path of the nerve. You may also have burning or tingling sensations or weakness in the leg.

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Common questions

Sciatica usually occurs from compression of the nerve as it leaves the lumbar spine. Compression occurs when there’s a change in the structure of the spine. For example, joint dysfunction of the vertebrae or a herniated disc may compress or irritate the spinal root, resulting in pain.

Your risk of developing sciatica increases as you get older because of degenerative changes in the spine that affect the spacing in between the vertebral bones.

The team at Key Spine Care conducts a thorough evaluation when you come in with complaints of sciatica pain. The team reviews your symptoms and the activities that make them worse or better. They ask about your daily routine and medical history and perform a physical exam.

The certified primary spine practitioner (PSP) at Key Spine Care conducts a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of your sciatica and whether you need additional imaging tests or a referral to a specialist.

The team at Key Spine Care creates individualized care plans for sciatica, using conservative therapies that give your body the ability to heal itself, reducing your pain. Your treatment plan may include:

  • McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT)
  • Cox Flexion-Distraction Technique (CoxⓇ Technique)
  • Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS)
  • Joint manipulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)

The PSP at Key Spine Care serves as your interprofessional care coordinator, making sure you get all of the treatment necessary to eliminate your sciatica.

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Our 3 Step Process to Alleviate Pain

At Key Spine Care, we focus on ACTIVE over passive treatment plans and proudly and exclusively only offer 1:1 care (e.g. no assistants or PTAs, just you and the doctor for the entire appointment, every time). We work together as a team to implement our shared plan to treat and prevent your symptoms.

Step 1: RECOVER From Pain & Limitations

After we have determined your individual diagnosis, we create a comprehensive and individualized plan to help you resume doing what you love - without the use of rest, pills, injections, or surgery!

After this stage, you will have:

   1. Eliminated the source of the pain
   2. Found pain-free postures

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Step 2: REBUILD Proper Mechanics & Address Root Cause

We work together as a team to implement our shared plan to develop healthy posture and movement patterns.

After this Stage, you will have completed exercises to address any needs in:

   1. Motor Control
   2. Stabilization
   3. Mobility

Step 3: REDEFINE Future Performance & Prevent Recurrence

We teach Self-Care Methods to make your body stronger and more resilient so that there is a much less likely chance of recurrence.

After this Stage, you will have a toolbox of movements and knowledge to address:

   1. Strength & Conditioning Exercises
   2. Work or Sport-Specific Tasks

Goal of ALL Our Treatment Plans

While we love our 1:1 time with our patients, we also do NOT want you to be locked into a never-ending treatment plan of 2-3 visits per week for life! Most of our treatment plans are 12 visits or less as we prioritize teaching you how to:

  • Eliminate the cause of the pain
  • Find pain-free postures
  • Develop healthy posture and movement patterns