Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica and Sciatic Nerve Pain
Lower Back and/or Leg Pain

The sciatic nerve running down the legSciatica, which is pain felt anywhere along the length of the sciatic nerve, is very common, and many people will experience some sciatic pain or discomfort at sometime in their life. The sciatic nerve it the largest nerve in the body, and it is comprised of 5 nerves. These nerves originate in the lower back and run all the way down to your big toe. When you are experiencing sciatic pain, you need to have a chiropractor correctly identify the source of your problem and correct it, if you don’t, you will continue to experience pain and possibly develop chronic sciatica. Tuckahoe Family Chiropractic successfully treats sciatic pain for our patients on a daily basis.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is the pain that comes when the sciatic nerves are irritated, pinched, when there is pressure on the sciatic nerves, or inflammation to the nerves and/or the area directly surrounding the sciatic nerves.

The most common cause of sciatica is a subluxation (misalignment) to one or more of the vertebrae in the lumbar spine (lower back), which irritates or pinches the sciatic nerve and causes pain and inflammation.

Sciatica Pain can be:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain radiating from your lower back down your leg
  • Buttock pain
  • Weakness in your muscles
  • A tingling sensation running down your leg, or in your toes
  • Numbness or pain in your big toe
  • Numbness in your legs or feet
  • A “Pins and Needles” sensation in your leg

Common Causes of Subluxations that result in Sciatica

  • Pregnant woman with lower back painSitting too much. Our bodies are not designed to sit for hours on end, and this unnatural position shortens the hip flexors, tightens muscles, and pulls on the lumbar spine.
  • Poor posture (both sitting and standing)
  • Pregnancy (the physical changes the body goes through can put a lot of pressure on the lumbar spine)
  • Lifting an object incorrectly
  • Muscle strain and its inflammation
  • A slip and/or fall
  • Sports life golf, tennis, racquetball, squash, and baseball twist the spine and often cause subluxations.
  • Playing contact sports

While subluxations are the main cause of sciatica, there are other potential causes as well.

Potential causes of Sciatica Pain include the following:

  • Subluxations or misalignments of the spine
  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal the nerves run through)
  • Disk degeneration
  • Piriformis muscle spasm
  • Bulging disc or disc herniation
  • Osteoarthritis
  • A tumor pressing on the sciatic nerve

Treating Sciatica

If you are like many people, experiencing a pain like sciatica for the first time probably means you will be doing an internet search looking for answers. And on the internet you will see recommendations that range from taking pain medication, epidural steroid injections, to surgery. Obviously, surgery should be a last case solution for any problem. Often, people will opt to take the “wait and see” approach by doing nothing and hoping the pain will go away on its own. While it may be tempting to wait and see what happens, or take pain medications, I have to advise against that for several reasons.

  1. Pain medications do not correct the problem. They just mask the pain.

  2. When your spine has a subluxation (misalignment), it needs to be gently restored to its proper position so your nervous system will be able function optimally again.

  3. The sciatic nerves control muscles and organs in the body. Untreated sciatica can cause problems such as: erectile dysfunction (ED), menstrual problems, constipation, incontinence, urinary problems, leg swelling or edema, reproductive issues, and other problems.

  4. Sciatic pain, once you have it, if left uncorrected will continue to bother you. Sometimes sciatica may appear to come and go because only 10% of your nervous system can feel pain. But if the root cause of your subluxation has been left uncorrected it will always come back and can lead to spinal degeneration disease (osteoarthritis, disc degeneration, protrusions, disc bulges, or herniation of the disc).

Man with sciatica getting up off the couchSpinal subluxations, or misalignments, to the lumbar spine occur regularly through normal activities and are one of the main causes of sciatica. And if you read the list of additional potential problems sciatica can cause ranging from ED to problems getting pregnant (bullet point #3 above), you can see how untreated sciatica can run up major medical bills as you start seeing specialists to deal with secondary problems that were a result of sciatica interfering with the way your nervous system is supposed to function.

Chiropractic care for sciatica will correct the root cause of the problem, which will restore normal function to your nervous system. Then, in most cases, all the other problems will go away. No medicine will be able to correct these problems if they are being caused by untreated sciatica. If you talk with a chiropractor who has been practicing chiropractic care for awhile, they will always have a story about how one of their patients was unable to get pregnant. The patient had been to specialist after specialist with no results, yet through chiropractic care they are once again able to become pregnant. For many of these women, the healing chiropractic care gave them is a very emotional experience.

Sciatica Treatment at Tuckahoe Family Chiropractic

At Tuckahoe Family Chiropractic we gently correct subluxations throughout the spine and neck on a daily basis. When you have sciatic pain, our initial approach will be to identify the underlying cause of your pain and work to correct that. Chiropractic care corrects the actual cause of your sciatic pain; it doesn't just mask the problem like pain medication does. Chiropractors use gentle adjustments that allow your spinal to be restored to properly alignment. This relieves the pressure on the nerves, allows the central nervous system to function as it should, and alleviates your sciatica pain. To correctly identify the root cause of your sciatic pain, we will conduct any necessary exams. These exams can include: chiropractic, physical exams, neurological, orthopedic, and x-rays if needed. In addition to these exams, we also have non-invasive computer scans that show us exactly how your nervous system is functioning.

Chiropractic care is the recommended first course of treatment for dealing with sciatica and its pain. From reading this article, you now understand that sciatica is not just something to ignore or self-treat with pain medication. The potential repercussions of untreated sciatica can be very inconvenient — to say the least.

At Tuckahoe Family Chiropractic, we have been helping our patients deal with sciatica, correcting the root cause, and alleviating their pain for years. Call 804.740.3434 to arrange for a one-on-one consultation. If you or someone you know is dealing with sciatica pain, or any of the related problems, please recommend this article to them.

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The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.