Sciatic pain is a common presentation to any chiropractic clinic and one of the commonest complications of low back pain… but, for every ten patients who think they have sciatica, probably only two or three actually do.
Part of the problem is that sciatica is used in everyday terms to describe pretty much any pain that runs down the leg; however, to a back specialist, such as a chiropractor, it refers very specifically to pain that arises from the sciatic nerve or its branches and it has a very specific pattern of distribution: down the buttock and the back of the thigh, often into the back of the calf and the sole of the foot. If it’s down the side or the front of your leg, then it’s not sciatica – but don’t worry, a chiropractor can probably tell you what it is !
Even if it is running down the back of your leg, sciatica still isn’t a definite diagnosis as sciatica isn’t the only thing that can cause pain in the back of your leg. Identical symptoms can arise from the ligaments, joints, muscles and bones in your spine or buttock – in much the same way that pain from the heart refers to your left arm in angina.