Sciatica: A Real Pain in the A*/#!
By Jim Starr
In 36 years of practicing chiropractic in different parts of the world, I have never seen so many cases of sciatica in one place as in San Miguel.
What is sciatica? Technically speaking, it is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. That particular nerve originates in the lower lumbar vertebra and travels down both legs. Imagine comparing the thickness of your thumb to the thickness of a pencil point. That is the size difference of the sciatic nerve in comparison to other peripheral nerves in the body. Imagine how hard it is to inflame a nerve of that size! The problem is…when it does get inflamed, it isn´t so easy to get rid of!
There are two principle types of sciatica. The first type originates in the lower back in the vertebral discs. When a disc is herniated, prolapsed, or swollen, the material inside the disc (nucleus pulposis) can leak out and cause pressure on the root of the sciatic nerve that can cause pain and or numbness down one or both legs. This type of sciatica is much less common than the second type.
The second type of sciatica is much more prevalent and is related to the faulty mechanics of the spine, pelvis, and associated musculature. Misaligned lumbar vertebrae (subluxations) cause pressure on the root of the sciatic nerve. Imbalance in posture or overexertion when walking will cause the hip and pelvic muscles to spasm or fatigue. Either way, the sciatic nerve can become inflamed and cause sciatica.
The real culprit seems to be the wonderful streets of San Miguel. I have concluded that these cobblestone pavements are creating havoc on our bodies. They seem to do the same on the alignments of our tires, if you haven´t noticed. As we bounce back and forth traversing our streets, the irregular landings cause us to twist and jerk in the most awkward of positions. I guess you could say it is a “chiropractor’s dream”—but the truth is, sciatica is a real pain in the _____!
Solutions: You could move out of San Miguel permanently, but who wants to do that? A better solution would be to visit your chiropractor so that he or she can help you determine the cause of your sciatica. Re-alignment of the spine and pelvis (adjustment) is critical to proper movement, and we need that here in San Miguel as much as anywhere.
Physical therapy helps alleviate symptoms of sciatica. Nutritional therapy, especially vitamin B-12 sublingually, seems to help the sciatic nerve tremendously. Acupuncture and deep massage can offer much relief for this condition. What is most important is to have your spine and pelvis evaluated properly by a health care specialist before deciding on any treatment. The problem with acute sciatica is that if not properly treated, right from the beginning, it can develop into a chronic condition that takes forever to alleviate.
The intuitive/metaphysical connection: Our legs propel us forward in life. The metaphysical connection reflects past events that are irritating and preventing you from moving forward. Ask yourself, “Where am I feeling held back or stagnant and where do I want to move forward in my life?” Look for the blessing in the crisis, and you can resolve your past challenges and move forward.
Keep walking on those cobblestone streets—but walk with care and attentiveness.
Dr. Jim Starr, Chiropractor, Wellness Center 12 Vicente Araiza La Lejona 121 2978; cell 415 151 0983.