In this video Dr. Stephen Graham explores the ins and outs of sciatic nerve pain.

Dr. Graham reveals that the sciatic nerve is the thickest nerve in the body and is formed from the nerve roots of L3-L4; L4-L5; L5-S1; S1-2; and S2-S3. These roots all come together and form the sciatic nerve which travels down the leg all the way to the foot.  Depending on what part of the leg hurts most of the times is indicative of which of the five nerve roots are being pinched.

The following is the nerve root distribution: L5-S1 runs down the buttock, back of the thigh and to the outer two toes. When there is a herniation at this level the patient many times cannot stand on their toes for very long or not at all. Dr. Graham also points out that when the root is really being compressed from a larger bulge, it may make the big toe weak.  Dr.Graham says this is a cardinal sign for a possible herniated disc. Another sign is when the patient cannot stand on their heals.

Dr. Graham says that he most often sees the  L5-S1 nerve root as the one most often compressed.  He states that this because this disc bears the biggest load and it is the most often injured.

The L4-L5 nerve root runs down the side of the side of the thigh across and to the front of the leg to the top of the foot. L1-L2 nerve root runs to the groin and inner thigh. Dr. Graham states that in his chiropractic practice this is the second most common root to get compressed.

L2-L3 runs down the front and inner thigh

Sciatic pain can be very painful.  Dr. Graham reports that some of his patients tell him that the leg pain is much worse than the back pain.

Common causes of sciatic nerve pressure are as follows: Bulging or herniated disc; misalignments of the spinal bones; spinal stenosis; tumors; pregnancy.

The most common are bulging discs.  This is when the jelly like material in the middle of the disc begins to migrate backwards and push the outer covering of the disc into the nerve root.  As Dr. Graham, stated the patient usually will experience pain in the lower back, gluteal pain thigh pain and many times foot pain.  Often times Dr. Graham goes on to say that the patient might also experience numbness and tingling.

Dr. Graham often times sets up a joint consultation with  neurosurgeon if he believes the patient may need surgery.

Lastly, Dr. Graham shows the features and benefits of his computerized adjusting instrument.  He states that this instrument decompresses the disc and because of the negative pressure induced from the adjustment it can refuse the bulge to take pressure off the disc.