The sciatic nerve is arguably the most well-known nerve in the body. It is also the largest and it gives rise to some of the most uncomfortable, frustrating, and aggravating pain there is. The sciatic nerve is literally a pain in the butt!
You actually have two sciatic nerves, one on each side. The nerves begin from several consecutive nerve roots in the lower back that emerge from the spinal cord. These roots join together to form the sciatic nerves which then travel down the backs of your thighs and eventually down to the tips of your toes. One or both nerves can be irritated at the roots by problems with the disc or spinal joints which narrows the opening they pass through. Additionally, they can be irritated from muscle or joint problems further down, in the pelvis and buttocks. Ultimately, because nerves are such highly sensitive tissues, even the tiniest aggravation can have drastic effects leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, burning, aching, and pinching.
There is no single solution to relieve sciatic nerve pain because there is no single problem. Each case is slightly different and must be evaluated carefully to identify the cause. The good news is that most cases of sciatic nerve pain can be resolved with chiropractic care, although treatment times vary from just a few days to several weeks. If you suspect you have some problems with your sciatic nerves, make sure you do something about it right away!