Tension headaches and sciatic pain – by Dr. David Greif

Imagine you have a muscle tension headache, or sciatic pain going down your leg. Is the headache or the sciatic pain the problem or the symptom? I run into people every day that would identify these things as the problem, yet when you look closer they’re the symptoms.


Muscle tension headaches are caused by the spine moving improperly in the upper neck, causing the nerves in the area to become irritated and cause the symptom of the headache. Taking a pain reliever, like Tylenol, is the equivalent to ignoring the problem. Even though it alleviates the pain the problem persists in the long run.


The same concept applies to sciatic nerve pain. A lot of healthcare practitioners like to state sciatica as if it’s the diagnosis when in fact it’s the sciatic pain in the symptom. A lot of times they ignore probable causes of the sciatic pain and just label the pain as sciatica. What’s causing the inflammation to the sciatic nerve? Wouldn’t treating the cause rather than the symptom make more sense?


If you answer “yes”, then your thought process is moving into the realm of chiropractic medicine. Chiropractors work on removing nervous interference by stimulating better ergonomics within the skeletal system and restoring better movement to areas of the spine that are moving improperly.


Going back to the Tylenol example for muscle tension headaches and sciatic pain, you should remember that pain is your body’s way of telling you something is not right within your body. By restoring normal movement to the spine, you can lessen the pain by removing the nervous interference. The choice is yours; you can choose to mask the pain with drugs or you can choose to correct the problem.


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