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Here‘s another blog post from the desk of Ann Arbor chiropractor, Mike Tannenbaum, D.C.: Sciatica

Sciatica. Most of us have heard of it, and people often use the word sciatica when thinking about pain that radiates into the gluteal (“glutes” or “butt”) muscles and possibly into a leg, but most of us don’t know exactly what sciatica is.

First, sciatica is a name for a symptom, and not the cause of a symptom. The symptoms of sciatica are caused by pinching of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back – the area known as the lumbar region. This nerve is one of the longest and widest nerves in the body, running through the gluteal muscle region and into the back of the knee.

These symptoms can be moderate to severe in intensity, and can be debilitating. Severe sciatica can be life-altering if untreated.

Some symptoms of sciatica are*:

Numbness, or pins and needles, and pain in the glutes, legs, and/or feet

Weakness anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve

Weakness in the legs and feet

The sciatic nerve can be pinched in a variety of ways:

Misalignment (what chiropractors call “subluxation”) of spinal bones

Osteoarthritis (the most common kind of arthritis, often just called “arthritis”)

Spondylolisthesis, in which one vertebra slips partially forward, so that it partially lies over the vertebra above it

Herniated disc (sometimes called ruptured disc or slipped disc)

Bulging disc

Pelvic trauma

Piriformis syndrome: this means a spastic – or involuntarily contracting – piriformis muscle (located near the gluteus muscle)

Spinal infection

If untreated, sciatica can worsen, leading to other symptoms. Sometimes sciatica can become chronic and physically incapacitating. At our chiropractic office in Ann Arbor, we have great success treating people with sciatica.

*These symptoms can also be caused by problems other than sciatica


I can be contacted at my Ann Arbor chiropractic office at if you have any questions about neck pain, back pain, chiropractic, or this blog post. 


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