What is Sciatica and What Causes Sciatic Pain?

Sciatica is a symptom of a number of different conditions. Despite what you may think, it is actually not its own condition. Sciatic pain typically occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated. Compression of the sciatic nerve can be caused by a number of things, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and more.

The sciatic nerves, being the longest nerves in the human body, runs from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. The pain is usually characterized by a shooting or burning sensation, as well as tingling, numbness, or weakness. 

The severity of sciatica can range from mild to debilitating, and it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as lower back pain, difficulty walking, and muscle weakness. Treatment typically involves conservative measures such as rest, physical therapy, pain medication, and stretching exercises. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the compression on the sciatic nerve. 

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Chiropractic Care

  • Chiropractic care is an effective non-surgical treatment option for sciatic pain. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and other manual therapies to reduce nerve irritation and improve spinal function, which can help alleviate the Sciatic pain.
    • Spinal adjustments: Spinal adjustments are used to realign the spine and reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can help to relieve pain and improve mobility.
    • Soft tissue therapy: Soft tissue therapy, such as a massage or trigger point therapy, can be used to relieve muscle tension and reduce inflammation around the sciatic nerve.
    • Exercise therapy: Chiropractors can prescribe specific exercises and stretches to help improve flexibility and strength in the affected area. This can help to prevent future episodes of sciatica.
    • Lifestyle improvement: Chiropractors are also able to provide advice on lifestyle modifications, such as improving posture and ergonomics, to help reduce the likelihood of developing sciatica.

It is important to note that because sciatica can be caused my many different conditions, treatment recommendations may vary depending on the individual and the severity of their case. Therefore, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

For more information about treatment options feel free to contact us!

To book an appointment with one of our chiropractors click HERE!


Santilli, V., et al. “Chiropractic Manipulation in the Treatment of Acute Back Pain and Sciatica with Disc Protrusion: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Active and Simulated Spinal Manipulations.” The Spine Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, Mar. 2006, pp. 131–137, doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2005.08.001. 

Fernandez, M., Ferreira, M.L., Refshauge, K.M. et al. Surgery or physical activity in the management of sciatica: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Spine J 25, 3495–3512 (2016). https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/10.1007/s00586-015-4148-y 

“Sciatica.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 Sept. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435.