As I stated, under the topic of pinched nerves, sciatica is pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve. This is a very common problem, particularly as we age beyond 30 years. The sciatic nerve is a nerve that starts in the buttock area where five nerve roots from the lower spine and sacrum, coalesce. Then the sciatic nerve descends down the buttock, thigh, leg and foot, branching off to supply various muscles and tissues. Pain in this distribution is referred to as sciatica. The sciatic nerve pain can be very tricky to diagnose on some occasions. For example, there are occasions when I have seen patients who have pain on the outside of the knee without pain in the thigh and this is caused by lower back problems pinching one of the sciatic nerve roots. I have treated many patients, in fact, who thought they had knee problems and who were treated with physical therapy for a knee problem that had its origin in the low back. Sometimes the only way to diagnose this problem is retrospectively, by treating low back and seeing the problem improved.
In fact, there are many presentations of low back pain and leg pain that fool many a practitioner. Fortunately, I have seen over 40,000 patients in 28 years and have seen so many presentations of pain, many atypical, that I think I have an extraordinary facility in diagnosing these problems. Furthermore, because I provide more effective treatment, I have improved many complaints and learned, retrospectively, how they are related to a back problem. This is not the sort of clinical experience other practitioners will learn if they don’t have effective treatment for low back problems. Conventional treatments for low back problems, which are not effective, will not reveal the causal association between back problems and it’s very diverse manifestations of pain.
In medicine, our common objective is supposed to be to provide the most effective treatment for everyone. Of course, that most effective treatment, should also be the most conservative treatment, whenever possible. Spinal decompression treatment has enabled me to provide the most effective, nonsurgical treatment for sciatica pain. Once again, as a result, I send many fewer people for injections and surgery than other providers.
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