Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica

Chiropractic medicine regularly treats sciatica.

Sciatica is recognized by pain that originates in your low back or buttock that travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain can vary in intensity and frequency. It can be light to moderate. It can be light to severe. It can also be intermittent, frequent or constant.

Pain has been described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins and needles or like an electric shock. Other symptoms include burning, numbness and tingling sensations. In the medical community,sciatica is also called radiating or referred pain, neuropathy, or neuralgia. A general misconception is that sciatica is a disorder. Sciatica is really a symptom of a disorder.

Caused by Nerve Compression

Generally caused by sciatic nerve compression, disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebral body/ies), herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or actually sitting on one’s back pocket wallet!

Another common cause of sciatica is Piriformis Syndrome,named after the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is located in the lower part of the spine, connects to the thighbone, and assists in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. This muscle is lends itself to injury from a slip and fall, hip arthritis, or a difference in leg length. Such situations can cause cramping and spasm to develop in the piriformis muscle, thereby pinching the sciatic nerve and causing swelling and pain.

This compression may result in the loss of feeling (sensory loss), paralysis of a single limb or group of muscles (monoplegia), and insomnia.

Proper Diagnosis

Since there are many disorders that cause sciatica, the chiropractor’s first step is to determine what is causing the patient’s sciatica. Forming a diagnosis involves a thoughtful review the patient’s medical history, and a physical and neurological examination. These examinations and tests help to detect possible a specific situations in which a chiropractic procedure, or should NOT be used, because it may be harmful to the patient.

Treatment Approach

The type of chiropractic therapy provided to you depends on the cause of your sciatica. A sciatica treatment plan may include treatments such as ice/cold therapies, spinal adjustments, and a home exercise program.

If you are suffering from sciatica pain and are searching for an effective non-drug, non-surgical sciatica treatment to relieve your pain contact Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C. for an examination at 858-794-4007 or use or Contact Us form.

TMJ (Jaw Joint) and Chiropractic Care

TMJ (Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome) is a condition created by the combination of misalignment (chiropractic subluxation) of the jaw and / or the neck.

The patient with TMJ (also referred to as TMD) usually experiences grinding of the teeth, jaw joint pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, vertigo, neck / upper back / shoulder pain or any number of other related symptoms.

Sometimes, in severe cases, the person with TMJ will be unable to open his or her mouth wide, or will hear clicking, cracking or a “pop” upon opening.

Often, patients report the onset of TMJ occurring with some sort of unusual stress to the neck and / or jaw, such as final exams, or job-related issues, or a severe blow to the jaw, such as from athletics or an automobile accident.

Sometimes these patients will seek treatment from their general physician, dentist, or an “ear-nose-and-throat” specialist, before coming to the chiropractor.

Powerful muscles surround the TMJ joint, which when misalign of the joint can cause nerve irritation which in turn can lead to patient problems of the head and neck area.

The major muscles involving the TMJ are the masseter and the temporalis. When these large muscles are in spasm, the patient is often unable to open their mouth, and is sometimes in excruciating pain.

This can lead to neck pain, dizziness and many other related symptoms.

Looking at the joint itself reveals various ligaments, smaller muscle groups and a piece of cartilage known as the meniscus. It is this meniscus, which normally acts as a buffer between the jaw and the skull, that gets damaged during TMJ difficulties.

The click or pop that patients hear when they open their mouths wide is due to an injury to this cartilage.

Chiropractic treatment can greatly aid in treatment and relief of this condition.

Chiropractic Treatment Options

Treatment for TMJ can involve one or more of the following:

• Gentle TMJ / Neck adjustments and myofasical (muscle) work to calm down muscle spasm, reduce nerve irritation and improve function in the joint area.

• Corrected exercises and nutritional evaluation given to help speed joint recovery.

• Biomechanical and nutrition stress reduction practices given for patient self help.

When treated early, TMJ can be controlled and the potential damage to the teeth and jaw joint can be minimized.

When left untreated, TMJ can erode the health of the teeth and jaw joint, prevent proper chewing, and cause biomechanical problems to the jaw joint, the head and neck area.


Do you have any questions about TMJ? Just email or call me direct at 858-794-4007, and I will be glad to answer your questions promptly.

Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C.