What Causes Sciatica?

Your sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body, runs from your lower spine, through your hips/buttocks, and down your legs. Sciatica occurs when this nerve is compressed, causing pain, tingling, numbness, or other types of discomfort.

Because of the length and placement of this nerve, sciatic pain is very difficult to ignore and can often prevent you from walking, sitting, or standing as you normally would. The pain may be worse while you are sitting, as this stretches the muscles and puts further pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain ranges in severity from person to person and may be intermittent or constant.

can a chiropractor help with sciatica

Sciatica symptoms often present themselves in the hips, buttocks, legs, and/or feet and are often described as shooting pain, numbness, tingling, burning sensations, or weakness on one side of the body.

Ultimately, however, sciatica itself is a symptom of an underlying condition: something putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. This includes, but is not limited to:

Herniated, slipped, or misaligned spinal discs;
Tightened muscles, or “trigger points“;
Degenerating discs;
Prolonged sitting and/or bad posture;
Wearing high heels;
Because there are so many potential causes for sciatica, it is vital that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to diagnose and treat your condition.


Sciatica Pain Relief

Regardless of the root cause, you only have one thought regarding your sciatica: pain relief.

First of all, keep moving. Exercise and light stretching can be beneficial at relieving the pressure on the nerve and alleviating your symptoms. Bed rest can cause your muscle fibers to tighten even more, making your sciatica worse.

Sciatica will last as long as the nerve compression does, so don’t hesitate to seek professional medical treatment. A chiropractor should be able to accurately pinpoint the cause of your pain and develop a sciatica treatment plan.

In most cases, a chiropractor can alleviate sciatica symptoms in a manner of weeks, but this depends on the cause and method of treatment.


Wait…I Can See a Chiropractor For Sciatica?

Many people are usually surprised that they can see a chiropractor for sciatica pain, but it’s actually the most affordable, quick, and effective way to treat your condition.

woman with highlighted bones getting chiropractic adjustment

Chiropractors are specially trained in the musculoskeletal system, which consists of the bones, joints, cartilage, muscles, and tendons. This specialized knowledge makes chiropractors uniquely and perfectly qualified to treat sciatica. Further, you don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor and treatments are often covered by insurance.

Because sciatica can stem from a number of different causes—and each one involves a different type of treatment—a chiropractor can identify and treat the underlying cause without resorting to pain medications.

What does a chiropractor do for sciatica? Treatments typically include:

Chiropractic adjustments to restore spinal alignment;
Medical massages to reduce muscle inflammation and release trigger points; and
Stretches to increase your range of motion and expedite healing.
Don’t waste time wondering if you should see a doctor or chiropractor for sciatica. Chiropractic care is the best way to relieve your symptoms, as it treats the underlying cause of your sciatica without resorting to drugs or surgery.


chiropractic massage near me

In some cases, sciatica symptoms can get better over time without a chiropractor’s help. But because sciatica is a symptom, not a diagnosis, it’s best to seek chiropractic treatment to figure out the underlying cause of your sciatica pain.

Also remember that sciatica pain may be intermittent. You may think your condition is resolving itself, only to be unpleasantly surprised when the pain returns.

Stretching can help relieve sciatica pain.

Sciatica is caused by something putting pressure on the nerve. Until that pressure is relieved, your sciatica will not be “cured.” Yes, even if you’re not currently experiencing any symptoms.

That being said, there are several home remedies you can use to try and relieve your sciatic pain.

Hot/cold therapy
Light exercise
Good posture
Pain relievers (in moderation)
It should be noted that these home remedies for sciatica should not be used in place of proper chiropractic care, but in addition to it. In fact, your chiropractor may even recommend that you do some or all of these treatments between adjustments.

Ironically, the only reason a chiropractor wouldn’t be able to resolve the cause of your sciatica is also the only one that would get better on its own: pregnancy. During pregnancy, the growing uterus can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Once you give birth and your uterus returns to its normal size, your sciatic pain should disappear.



Sciatica pain is uncomfortable and demobilizing, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve been dealing with shooting pain and discomfort, chiropractic treatment can help.

Sciatica is not a condition, but a symptom. Home remedies and over-the-counter pain medication might provide temporary relief, but they won’t address the underlying cause of your pain. For long-lasting healing, you need a chiropractor’s help.

At Oviedo Chiropractic, we help hundreds of sciatica patients find relief each year through spinal realignment and medical massage. Throughout your treatment, you will be educated on what is causing your pain and how our methods can help.

Ultimately, our primary goal is to relieve pain and allow the body to heal itself. If you’re suffering from sciatic pain, you want relief as quickly as possible. Dr. Justin Cough believes in healing your sciatica with as few chiropractic adjustments as possible so that you can get back to your normal lifestyle.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and free yourself from pain.


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