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Chiropractic Clinic
Sciatica and Foundational Correction

Sciatica is a type of pain that affects the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that extends from the lower back to the back of each leg. It is common in adults between 30–50 years of age. The pain can range from mild discomfort to very sharp, stabbing pain.

Occasionally, the pain can resolve on its own. However, if your sciatica is recurring or chronic, you should seek the help of a chiropractor that focuses on fixing the primary condition. First, we’ll discuss how Foundational Correction using upper cervical chiropractic can help resolve secondary conditions like sciatica.

Overview of sciatica

The sciatic nerve starts at the spinal cord, runs through the hips and buttocks, and reaches down each leg.

It is important to note that the sciatic nerve is the longest in the human body. It is also one of the body’s most vital nerves. It directly affects your ability to feel and control your legs. When your sciatic nerve is irritated, you will experience sciatica.

Sciatica can show up as a moderate to severe pain in your buttocks, legs, and back. The areas mentioned may also feel numb and weak.

An underlying injury causes the symptom of sciatica to the sciatic nerve or any area affecting that nerve, like your vertebrae, which are your back and neck bones.

Harvard study suggests that at least 40% of people will experience sciatica at some point during their lives. Furthermore, the frequency increases as one gets older.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica is a distinct kind of symptom. You probably have sciatica if you are experiencing pain that moves from your lower back through your butt area and into your lower limbs.

Sciatica is caused by injury or damage to your sciatic nerve. It is, therefore, possible that you will experience other symptoms of nerve damage along with the pain of sciatica. Common signs that present with the pain may include:

· Pain that gets worse with movement

· Numbness or weakness in your feet and legs, which usually occurs along your sciatic nerve pathway. In extreme cases, you may experience a loss of movement or feeling.

· Needle and pin sensations, involving a painful tingling in your feet and toes.

· There is a chance of experiencing incontinence. Incontinence is the inability to control your bowels or bladder.

Risk factors for sciatica

Certain factors or behaviors can put you at risk of developing sciatica. The most typical factors for developing sciatica include:

· As you get older, it becomes more likely that certain parts of your body will break down or wear out.

· Some careers put immense strain on your back, for instance, work that involves lifting heavy objects, twisting movements, or sitting for a long time.

· Being diabetic can cause damage to your nerve.

· Smoking can cause a breakdown of the outer layer of your spinal discs.

How does the upper cervical spine affect sciatica?

Car accidents, poor posture, old injuries, or even a problematic pregnancy can cause a Foundational Shift of the spine. If this is not corrected, the shift can cause your spinal discs to bulge, or an irregular tightness in your back muscles, as well as a lopsided movement of the hip. These imbalances combined will put plenty of pressure on your sciatic nerve, resulting in continuous pain. So, even when you feel pain in the lower back, the sciatica is most often caused by an imbalance starting at the top of the spine where the head is supported.

How does Foundational Correction help fix the cause of sciatica?

Well, while it may seem far-fetched, the truth is that sciatica, which starts in the lower back most of the time, has its root cause in the neck. How? I’ll explain.

First, you have to understand how your neck and back work together to keep your head’s balance. Your head maintains its balance and straightness with the help of the upper cervical spine (top neck bones). However, these small bones also allow your head to move freely in whatever direction you want it to. The upper cervical spine can do this, thanks to its unique shape.

However, among all the segments of the spine, your atlas (first neck bone) is most vulnerable to getting shifted. The misalignment occurs when it undergoes wear and tear or has an injury. When your head fails to maintain a neutral position or balance, the parts underneath it will start twisting and shifting.

This explains why you may have your head tilted slightly to one side or why you may have uneven shoulders. This imbalance may result in unequal tension on the muscles, uneven wear on the joints, and other causes of sciatica.

Sciatic nerve irritation usually persists until the primary condition is fixed by correcting the upper cervical spine to its proper position. After correcting a Foundational Shift, the imbalances of the head and other parts of the body that contribute to sciatica will resolve.

Caring for the primary condition will bring immense relief to people with sciatica. This can be done with Foundational Correction. This form of chiropractic focuses on fixing the cause and not just the symptoms. The Foundational Chiropractor will adjust the upper neck to properly align with the head and other parts of the spine. This eases the pressure on these parts and allows the body to function to its full potential.


Woodfield HC 3rd, York C, Rochester RP, et al. Craniocervical chiropractic procedures — a précis of upper cervical chiropractic. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2015;59(2):173–192.

Hynes RJR, Callender AK. Technique in the classroom at Palmer College of Chiropractic: A History in the Art of Chiropractic. J Chiropr Humanit. 2008;(15):55–66.

Taylor CS, Mangano FT. Craniocervical abnormalities. In: Kountakis SE, editor. Encyclopedia of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. New York: Springer Reference; 2013. pp. 619–628.

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