The Best Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Pain Relief

By Dr. Tim Fargo, Chiropractor

Sciatic nerve pain, also known as “sciatica”, can be extremely painful and even disabling. It occurs when the sciatic nerve is being irritated, compressed, stretched or has been traumatized because of such things as herniated discs in the low back, muscle spasm in the muscles directly overlying the nerve, or even simple misalignments of the pelvis. Below you will see pictured a diagram of the sciatic nerve. The nerve is very large and its diameter is about the size of your thumb. It emanates from the lower part of your low back and also derives branches from nerves in your pelvis. It then runs down through your butt, the back of the leg and calf, and ends on the bottom of the foot. Sciatica can cause pain down the back of the leg, even as far down as the bottom of the foot. It can also cause weakness of the associated muscles and even alterations in the deep tendon reflexes such as in your Achilles tendon. Sciatica can become so severe that it becomes virtually impossible for a person to stand up for prolonged periods of time, and especially to bend forward to do such simple tasks as putting on socks or tying one’s shoes. The treatment that is most appropriate and effective for sciatic nerve pain depends entirely on the source of irritation.


If sciatica is the result of a herniated disc in the low back, then chiropractic treatment designed to reduce or improve the herniation will be most effective. Chiropractors do gentle manipulation in the area surrounding the herniation to improve mobility and decrease inflammation and muscle spasm. At Chiropractic Health and Wellness, we have seen literally thousands of patients with sciatica and have helped many of them with nothing more than precise and gentle chiropractic adjustments. Sometimes disc herniation’s will respond beautifully to traction therapies that put a stretching force in the low back which then decompresses the disc that is herniated and compressing the sciatic nerve. We have saved many patients from back surgery with just such traction therapy.

If sciatic nerve pain is a result of the nerve being compressed by muscles that overlie the nerve, then the solution is to do everything possible to relax the muscle spasm and thus decompress the nerve. The muscle that is most often affected is known as the “piriformis”. Compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle is known as “piriformis syndrome”. Adjusting the hip and pelvis can go a long way toward relaxing the piriformis and taking pressure off the nerve.

There are also instances where sciatica is the result of simple misalignments and mechanical issues in the pelvis. The specific joint in the pelvis that is most often implicated in sciatica is known as the “sacroiliac joint”. The sacroiliac joints sit on either side of your pelvis just to the inside of your butt muscles. These joints do not move a lot, but when they are misaligned, they will cause muscle spasm of the glutes and piriformis muscles and such muscle spasm can then cause sciatica.

Between chiropractic manipulation (adjustments), traction therapy, deep muscle massage and trigger point therapy, electric muscle stimulation, and SoftWave TRT therapy there are very few cases of sciatica that cannot be helped by chiropractic treatment. There are instances where, for example, a herniation is so great that conservative measures will not resolve the problem and surgical intervention is required. In my experience in working with thousands of patients with sciatica, the percentage who require surgery is relatively low. If you, or someone you know and love, suffers with sciatica, then do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of the doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness. We are here to help.

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