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How do you know if you have Sciatica?

Pinched human sciatic nerve, anatomical vision. 3D Render.

Sciatic Nerve

You may have heard of sciatica. Basically sciatica is an irritated nerve or also commonly known as a “pinched nerve”. This can happen to any of the nerves from the low back that supply the buttock, leg and foot. So although the “sciatic” nerve is one of the most common nerves to get irritated, hence the term “sciatica”, it can happen to any of the nerves in the lower back or other areas of your spine. Depending on what nerve is involved, it will then affect which area that nerve irritation is felt in. You may feel it down the outside of your thigh, or in your foot as an example. It may present as a tingling, like ants running over that area, a burning, compression or dull ache. You may also be prone to cramping in that area as a result of the nerve irritation. Often, there has been a build up of stress and tension for some time through the low back BEFORE you experience nerve irritation.

This works exactly the same through the neck. The nerves from the neck run down through the shoulder and to the hands, and therefore the referral can run through the shoulder, down the arm or into the hand or fingers. It may also make you more prone to symptoms experienced as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. Again, built up tension will often occur in the neck BEFORE nerve irritation symptoms.

Nerves in the Neck

Nerves in the Neck

As a chiropractor, this is our area of expertise. We do a range of nerve testing in our practice to identify what nerves are involved and then make a plan to address the underlying cause.

Still not sure if you have sciatica? Book an appointment and we can thoroughly assess you.


Dr Katelyn Boucher