Chiropractor Questions Sciatica

Sharp, shooting pain in my right leg

I often get a sharp, shooting pain down my right leg. Mostly it happens when I've been standing or walking for a while. Is this what some people call sciatica?

35 Answers

Pain radiating from your lower back or your buttocks down the back of the leg all the way down to your ankle and toes is described as "sciatica." Sciatica is usually from an L5 or S1 nerve root irritation, generally from a disc herniation. There are other types of leg pain symptoms that are not true sciatica but correspond to different nerve roots being pinged at different levels. You should consider an MRI of the lumbar spine to investigate the reason for your symptoms. If you have no leg or foot weakness, starting with at least 3 months of conservative therapy including pain management, injections, and physical therapy is the best first step before considering surgery.
This certainly can be sciatica however other causes would need to be eliminated. Sometimes pathology in the hip or knee can also cause pain to radiate up and down away. Sciatica generally refers to pain radiating along the course of the sciatic nerve which runs across her back of the hip and buttock down the posterior aspect of the leg to the knee and then it can wraparound front of the leg to the top or bottom of the foot. This is usually caused by irritation of the nerve or of one of the several nerve roots that make up the nerve as it comes out of her spine
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This is consistent with spine related sciatic type pain, however pain from other areas of the body may mimic sciatica as well. It would be prudent to discuss your pain with a Neurosurgeon/Spine surgeon to "rule in or out" the source of your pain.
yes it can be. please follow up with your PCP or may be a pain management specialist to diagnose it completely
Sciatica is an umbrella term that is used to describe any irritation to the sciatic nerve . The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and it is made up of several individual nerve roots that branch out from the lumbar spine and then combine to form the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica symptoms which often cause pain that is often described as sharp, electric, throbbing or painful numbness, occur when the large sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed at or near its point of origin. This can be due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), degenerative changes, spondylisthesis (small stress fracture or congenital bone insufficiency that allow one vertebral body to slip forward on another), Piriformis syndrome (muscle irritation of the sciatic nerve), Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and other causes.
Yes it could be sciatica pain but I will do a thorough history and physical exam / radiology to rule out vascular and musculoskeletal etiology
Yes. SI joint generally gives the pain pattern to the knee while discs patterns travel past the knee into the foot itself. The sciatic itself part of this issue. All nerve related.
I would not be able to confirm a diagnosis without a specific examination but sciatica is inflammation of the sciatic nerve bundle that extends down the back of your leg. It can be aggravated but a multitude of activities. Sciatica could be a possible diagnosis for your pain.
Not always, it could be due to myofascial trigger points in the muscle causing pain. let either a Doctor of Chiropractic or a trained Medical Massage Therapist evaluate this.
There's lots of factors that go into a diagnosis. I could not offer you an answer without more info
Yes, this can be sciatica if the shooting pain goes down your glutes, including your posterior leg sometimes all the way down to your calf and foot.
Well, by anatomical default, the nerve going down your leg is or part of the sciatic nerve. The L4/L5 nerve root of the sciatic nerve goes from inside knee to big toe, the L5/S1 nerve root of the sciatic nerve is more behind the calf and to heel and outside of foot. I would seek attention by a Chiropractor or MD to first investigate the lumbar spine with X-ray and start there. Hope that helps.
It is possibly sciatica, you will need to be examined and have a lower back x-ray to determine what the exact problem is. Feel free to call my office or see someone near you. If not improving, it needs to be treated.

In good health

Dr. Neil Berman
Yes it is. Sciatica is the descriptive term for radiating pain down the back of the leg. It can be caused by any number of things but is the result of pressure on the sciatic nerve.
It could be sciatica. It could be many other conditions as well such as facet syndrome, piriformis syndrome or sacral iliac inflammation. You would need an evaluation and cray to see what is happening to your spine and leg. We offer free consultations to find out if we can help you. You can always call us at 770-545-8888 to find out more.
That sounds like sciatica and usually from pressure on a nerve at the L5 area of the spine but could be sacral or pelvic mis-alignment too.
Yes, it is! Adjustments will solve this issue!
Sciatica could be the cause, best to not guess. Have the condition assessed, treated and let's eliminate the guessing, shall we? No point in suffering needlessly.
This shooting pain down the leg while standing or walking for long periods of time could be sciatic pain. A proper chiropractic evaluation could help you to find the root of your problem.
Pain shooting down the back of the leg is known as sciatica. Sciatica can be caused by different things like disc or nerve irritation from the lumbar spine or different entrapments, where muscles are overactive and putting pressure where the sciatic nerve travels. Examination can tell what it is caused by and either way can be addressed in the office.

Based on the information you provided it is possible that you may be experiencing sciatic nerve pain, but a true "sciatica", is when the pain is constant and travels from the lower back/hip area all the way down the back of the leg to the foot. If the pain travels to the back of the leg, but stops around the knee or above, then that is called radiculopathy and most likely is caused by the Sacroiliac Joint (SI joint) misalignment and muscle tension.
There can be several reasons for the cause of this pain. This can sciatic in origin. It can also stem from the hip or sacroiliac joint. You should have this evaluated.
It could be. Sciatica is caused by a nerve root being compressed, most commonly by a herniated lumbar disc, or a narrowing of the exit point of the nerve root due to arthrosis. On the other hand, the pains you described could just as well be purely due to mechanical stress on the facet joints, depending on how far down the leg the pain goes. If there's no other symptoms besides these pains, and they're present for less than 6 weeks, you could just wait and see. Light physical activity, especially exercises for core stability are encouraged. If the pain persists after 6 weeks further examination, including a scan are advised. Depending on those results further treatment can be established.
There are many reasons people experience pain shooting down the leg. Irritation of the sciatic nerve, or "sciatica", is just one of them. Before drawing conclusions, it is important to have the entire history, combined with a physical exam, and sometimes additional testing.

Yes, indeed this maybe the case.
Sciatica or root irritation pain will follow the dermatomal distribution of the nerve root involved so the exact area involved helps the diagnosis.
An MRI lumbar spine and clinical evaluation will be needed prior to considering management options.

Best Wishes

Mr Rafid Al-Mahfoudh
Consultant Neurosurgeon and Complex Spine Surgeon
Brighton and London
Well yes and no. The sciatic nerve is compromised of a few nerve roots that exit in your lower back. This nerve may be pinched in two different areas. One is at the nerve root as it exits the low back. The other is the piriformis muscle that is a deep buttock muscle. If you have pain that begins in your buttock and travels down the back of you leg, that is most likely the sciatic nerve trapped in the piriformis muscle (piriformis syndrome). If you have low back pain that travels down the leg, then it's most likely what we call "radiculopathy", which is nerve compression symptoms down that specific nerve root. I know it was a long answer to your question, but I hope it cleared up some of the terminology for you.
Yes this is in general the definition of sciatica. The underlying reason for the pain can vary.
yes. that often is nerve pain related to a nerve getting pinched in the low
back. diagnosis can usually be made with a lumbar MRI.
It may well be. Certainly, when there is narrowing in a hole where a nerve comes out, prolonged standing or walking will make things worse. However, there are other causes as well, and if this has been going on repeatedly, or for more than a few days, it needs to be checked out!
Yes, it is and an adjustment will help with this!
In order to diagnose sciatica, you physician needs to do a specific test. Essentially, you lie down supine (on your back) and your doctor will raise one of your legs upwards. If you have sciatica, you will feel a radiating pain starting from your waist down to your leg.
Yes, this is almost assuredly sciatica. If it persists, a MRI of the lumbar spine is indicated.
Yes, it may be sciatica/nerve pain.