• Dr. Eric Carlsen

Sciatic Pain and How to Treat it


woman bent over holding back due to sciatic pain

Sciatica is a shooting, piercing pain that runs from the lower back down to the legs. The Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body running from the buttocks right down to the toes. The nerve can experience pain whenever you have a trapped nerve, disc herniation, Piriformis syndrome, or trigger point referral. Typically, symptoms of sciatica include the following:

  • Leg pain that worsens when sitting

  • Tingling or burning running down the leg

  • Numbness, weakness, or difficulties moving the foot or entire leg

  • A consistent pain on one side of your lower back

  • An intense and intolerable pain that makes it hard to stand up


Chiropractic treatment can relieve it gently and naturally. This care entails treating the pain without costly and harmful side effects.

  • Accurate Diagnosis of sciatica: Chiropractic care is founded on the basis that restricted spinal movement can lead to pain and reduced function. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, a chiropractor will examine and review your medical history to determine the cause of the pain. Chiropractic treatment helps the body heal itself with drug-free, non-invasive (non-surgical) treatment.

  • Massage therapy: This type of massage is an intense way of relieving sciatica pain. It can induce deep muscles relaxation and the release of endorphins that act as natural painkillers. While regular spa massage may release sore muscles and tension, chiropractic massage is more directed towards soothing and healing sciatica.

  • Heat and cold therapies: Alternating cold and heat therapy have been used by chiropractors to do wonders and provide quick relief from sciatica pain. Heat can release tight muscles and dull the agony away. The cold therapies will slow down the blood flow and help ease the symptoms of inflammation. The chiropractor understands which treatment is suitable for you, whether to use both and how often to alternate them.

  • Ultrasound and other modalities: Ultrasound is the gentle heat that’s generated by sound waves, which penetrate deep into the body’s tissues. It can improve circulation (promoting healing), lessens cramping, swelling, muscle spasms, and pain. Other modalities that a chiropractor can use to help ease sciatica pain include low-level laser therapy also known as cold laser therapy. It enhances healing by reducing irritation, swelling or edema, and musculoskeletal pain.

  • Chiropractic adjustments: A chiropractor can apply spinal manipulations to allow a herniated disc to rest back into position and take the pressure off the sciatic nerve. The adjustments can also free limited spinal movement and restore misaligned vertebral discs. This technique varies from a quick high-velocity thrust to a combination of minimal force and gentle pressure. It allows the chiropractor to gently move the lower back vertebral to avoid pressing on the sciatic nerve. This will lessen the pain as well as regain nerve signal flow and mobility. Furthermore, a chiropractor can use the manipulations to ease muscle spasms, which will help with long-term relief.

  • Chiropractic exercises: Moving in particular ways can worsen sciatica pain. Nonetheless, depending on the root cause of the problem, a chiropractor will recommend exercises that not only avoid sciatic nerve aggravation but also help in releasing the pressure that comes from inflamed and tight muscles. Those exercises include stretching programs that you can do right at home.

  • Lifestyle changes: Chiropractors look into all aspects of your life. He or she might recommend a new way to stand, sit, sleep, and lift to protect the positioning of the sciatic nerve. This guidance can help you strengthen the back muscles to keep the disc in place. That is crucial because, the stronger the back is, the less likely discs will slip to put pressure on the sciatic nerve again. Therefore, chiropractors can help ease sciatica pain both in the short and long term.

Don't Live with Pain

Sciatica pain can be incapacitating and although it is common, it is no reason you should have to tolerate it. With proper diagnosis, you can get relief by starting a treatment program.

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