Lower Back Pain | Sciatica – What Your Chiropractor Does To Treat It

By | December 3, 2015 | Conditions | 0 Comment
sciatica lower back pain can develop from everyday wear and tear

Updated: March 2020

Do you sometimes feel a shooting pain down your leg when you sit for too long? Or, get a dull ache in your lower back when you twist to reach something quickly? This isn’t discomfort that is just ‘part of life’, it could be a symptom of sciatica. Read on to find out more about this condition.


What is sciatica?


Essentially, sciatica describes nerve pain down your leg that stems from irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. One of the largest in your body, the sciatic nerve is formed when five nerve roots meet in your lumbar and sacral spine (in your lower back). Over time, this nerve suffers everyday wear and tear which can result in pain at varying levels of severity.

It’s important to point out that sciatica is a symptom of another underlying condition. This can commonly be a disc disorder or spinal stenosis, but it’s important that you explore your condition specifically with your chiropractor or medical professional before the cause of your discomfort is determined.


What are the symptoms of sciatica?


Firstly, no two sciatica pain episodes are alike. So, you might have a different pain experience each time the nerve is irritated. Sciatica is classified by pain that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve – that’s from your lower back, along your buttocks, and down your thigh. Even as far as your leg and foot. It could feel like:

  • A dull ache, or
  • Tingling, or
  • A burning sensation, or
  • Shooting, stabbing pain.


You will only feel it in one leg and often trigger it when you are completing a particular movement. For example, sitting, or trying to stand from sitting, bending, twisting, or even – coughing!


How can chiro help?


Chiropractic care focuses on optimising the function of your spine. Therefore, after consulting your concerns and history of the issue, your chiropractor will apply a range of evidence-based techniques to assist your body in returning to full movement.

Commonly, we will apply Motorised Flexion Distraction Therapy (MFD-T) to a sciatic complaint. This is a traction based treatment that applies pressure to the selected spinal area. By placing the affected disc into a pressure position, the muscle, ligaments or disc can be gentle stretched to restore function and relieve pain without the need for highly invasive surgery.


It works by repetitively “cycling” the back through stretch and relaxation phases. This has been shown to increase the negative pressure in the disc, helping to “pull” the herniated disc back into the disc. This vacuum effect also improves the circulation – an important step for healing.


Learn more


At Sydney Spine and Sports Clinic, we put you first. We believe in offering chiropractic care that enables you to make informed and educated choices about your health. If you are suffering pain or injury and would like to talk to us about how we can help you get mobile and active again – get in touch right here.


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