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Sciatica (lower back and leg pain)

An image on a woman holding her hip who is in pain from sciatica (a sharp pain on the lower side of the body near the hip). For assistance contact us at De Ruggesteun Chiropractors Den Haag (Rijswijk, Voorburg, Scheveningen).

Sciatica (lower back and leg pain) | Chiropractor Den Haag

What is sciatica?
Those who have it (and there are many) know about it: sciatica is a great discomfort. It usually starts at the bottom of the back with a dull pain that may or may not be constant, which becomes sharp and stabbing with certain movements. As the problem worsens, the pain spreads to the gluteus muscle, sometimes to both sides, but usually to one side. Then, the pain may even radiate via the thigh and knee to the toes, with the pain often being felt at the back of the leg. But this can vary. It also happens that the side or front of the leg is painful. In addition to burning sharp pain, you may also feel needling, tingling and prickling. Strangely enough, your leg may also feel lame!

Anatomy of the lower back
In order to understand the origin of sciatica, we cannot do without some knowledge of the anatomy of the lower back. This part of our body is formed by five lumbar vertebrae, which are connected to the hip bones through the sacral joints. Ligaments, muscles and tendons ensure the mobility and stability of the whole. Between each of the lumbar vertebrae there is an intervertebral disc, which allows movement between the vertebrae. To make things even more complicated, spinal nerves emerge from the spinal cord on both sides between each pair of lumbar vertebrae. The opening for this is therefore partly formed by the vertebra above the nerve and partly by the one below it. The nerves exiting the vertebral canal from this opening come together and form the largest nerve in the human body: the sciatic nerve. It runs through the buttocks and legs to the toes.

What causes sciatica?

Lage Rug- en Beenklachten | Den Haag

All of the many causes of sciatica basically have one thing in common – irritation of the sciatic nerve, which ultimately leads to inflammation. The result is pain.
Some sudden causes are:

  • sudden movement such as sneezing or spraining;
  • Vertigo;
  • fall;
  • a wrong move;
  • an accident.

Some gradual causes are:

  • Overloading of the lower back; such as heavy lifting, driving a car or just sitting in a chair a lot, and one-sided loading;
  • herniated disc in the lower back; arthritis (joint inflammation) in the lower back and pelvis;
  • excessive effort;
  • poor condition and posture;
  • too little body movement.
  • overweight (obesity);
  • bone diseases;
  • arthrosis (wear and tear);
  • advanced diabetic;
  • scoliosis or misalignment of the lower back and pelvis.

Can sciatica be prevented?

Moderation and precaution is the best advice that can be given in this case. It is therefore important to pay attention to the following points:

    • Always pay attention to good posture. This means: stand relaxed and straight with your weight evenly distributed over both feet. “Standing in a slumped position increases the tension on the entire back.
    • Be careful when lifting, especially with heavy objects.
      Sink to your knees, keep the object close to your body and avoid twisting at the waist.
      Don’t be ashamed to ask someone to give you a hand. If you are carrying something, distribute the weight on both sides of the body.
    • Watch your line; obesity aggravates any back problem.
    • Sleep on a good mattress and do not sleep on your stomach. Lie on your back or side.
    • The “TV, desk and car seat” must provide sufficient support for the lower back.
    • Avoid sitting for long periods and never cross your legs when sitting.
    • Long car journeys are fatal. Stop regularly to stretch your legs and change your position.
    • Wear good, comfortable shoes that provide sufficient support even when you have to stand or walk for a long time.
    • Keep yourself physically fit. Go swimming or walking or do other sports that do not harm your back. Do warm-up exercises before you start sport.
    • Regular Chiropractic examination helps to keep your back supple, mobile and free from pain.

Lage Rug- en Beenklachten | Den Haag
What can you do to temporarily relieve the pain?

  • If you feel pain coming on, preferably lie on your bed to relieve the tension in your back.
  • After a maximum of 2 – 3 days, you should be able to move around gently, provided this does not make the pain worse.
  • Apply a cold compress (not hot!) to the painful area for about 20 minutes. Repeat this at intervals of at least 45 minutes.
  • Try to avoid sitting, even for a few minutes, as much as possible. Sitting causes even more strain on the lower back and can even cause complications.
  • Avoid efforts such as lifting, twisting, exercises and even household chores.
  • Seek corrective treatment from a chiropractor.

How can the Chiropractor help?

During your first visit to the Chiropractor, you will first be asked about your medical history. An examination takes place to determine whether Chiropractic is the best treatment for you. The Chiropractor specializes in both diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. It is his/her job to optimize the mobility of the spine and the functioning of the nervous system so that the pain disappears. He/she does this by means of dosed mechanical impulses on the spinal column, the pelvis and adjacent areas. Note: without the use of drugs or surgery.


Research shows that the relationship between chiropractic, sciatica and leg pain is one. For example, a study of sixty patients showed that spinal manipulation should be the treatment of choice for sciatica patients. And other studies also praised Chiropractic for patients of sciatica and leg pain. In a previously conducted study, four different approaches (manipulation, traction, two types of injections) were used to

treat low back pain and sciatica patients. The group that received spinal manipulation recovered best.

Interestingly, a large number in the traction group needed surgery.

In a study of 3,136 people with lumbosacralgia (low back and sciatica pain) and intervertebral disc weakening (herniated disc), who had previously received medical treatments such as physiotherapy and medication without positive results, received alien chiropractic treatment. 2 years later, follow-up research showed that 50.4% had excellent results without painful relapses. 34.4% had relapses but responded favourably after further chiropractic care, while 15.2% showed no significant progress.

Sciatica (lower back and leg pain) | Chiropractor Den Haag – Contact Ons


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