Can a chiropractor help sciatica?

How can a chiropractor help sciatica? Will a visit to a chiropractor help sciatica? If you suffer from low back pain and sciatica then a visit to Revive Chiropractic could reduce your pain and discomfort. A chiropractor can help sciatica by reducing the inflammation of structures in the low back. A chiropractor will do this by gently moving the joints of the lower spine to restore easy and pain free movement. Your chiropractic treatment may include massage to the low back muscles that will reduce inflammation. If appropriate you may also be given exercises to strengthen the back muscles and improve your mobility.

Can a chiropractor help sciatica by releasing a trapped nerve?

Remember that nerve are not static structures. They slide and glide within a sheath and studies tell us that about 2cm of stretch can be applied to the sciatic nerve in most people. The aim is to effectively “wiggle” the nerve free.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain in the leg caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from your low back, through your pelvis, down the back of the leg and ends in the feet.

sciatic does a chiropractor help sciatica

Many people mistakenly think they have sciatica if they have any sort of back pain with pain into the leg. However true sciatica will normally cause pain all the way past the knee and into the lower leg. It may even go as far as the feet. So if your pain only goes as far as the buttocks, thigh or groin it might not be sciatica. It is more likely that the cause is an irritated disc or facet joint.

What causes sciatica?

Since sciatica is commonly caused by two main problems, we shall look in turn at each cause. Firstly,  (1) Chemical irritation of the sciatic nerve and secondly, (2) mechanical compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatic nerve chemical irritation

Injury to any of the structures in the low back (disc, joint or muscles and connective tissues) can cause inflammation and the release of chemical signals as part of the inflammation process. These chemicals can cause the nerve irritation.

Sciatic nerve compression

This is when you get physical compression of the sciatic nerve and what is commonly referred to as a “trapped nerve”. In younger people it is generally a bulging disc that causes the compression (more on that in the next blog post). Above 60 years old and you can still get a bulging disc but it becomes more likely that the compression is due to bony changes in the joint from wear and tear. Or getting a bit technical a combination of disc degeneration and extra bony growth called disc-osteophyte complexes.

Want to know more about how a chiropractor can help sciatica?

Finally, please call the clinic on 0113 347 2801 to speak to our chiropractor Alison or to book an appointment. Alison can explain further about the gentle techniques she uses to help treat sciatica.


Products to help back pain. Buy from Revive Chiropractic

Products to help back pain – now available

We now stock a range of products to help back pain. You can collect these directly from the clinic when you are in for treatment.

Products to help back pain

Ice packs

These great multiuse ice packs can also be used as heat packs. You can either put them in the freezer and use as an ice pack or put them in the microwave to use as a heat pack. A much tidier and more versatile version of your frozen peas and cheaper than the single use stick on heat pads. Ice packs and heat pads are great products to help back pain.

Ice is great for acute inflammation (less than 72 hours) whereas heat is much better for the majority of joint and muscles pains and definitely for any ongoing long term pain and stiffness.

Massage balls

“Spike” as they have been christened by one of my patients! Spiky massage balls are available in different sizes and relieve tension in large and small muscles. They are a great way of keeping muscles relaxed and pain free between treatment sessions. Simply roll on the massage ball over any knots for 30-60 seconds at a time.

Exercise bands

These also come in assorted colours that represent a different resistance. Green bands are the lightest and easiest and red bands offer a slightly harder workout.

You can use resistance bands to strengthen individual muscles as part of a rehab program. Because they are so small they are great for the home or the office so no excuse not to be doing your exercises. A great exercise for shoulder pain using an exercise band is this one


If you love the menthol smell and feeling of deep heat you will love biofreeze. Biofreeze is a topical analgesic (painkiller) that uses the cooling effect of menthol, a natural pain reliever, to sooth muscle and joint pain. It also penetrates the skin and leaves a cooling effect similar to applying ice.


Sissel produce a leading range of orthopaedic neck pillows. The pillows are specially contoured to support the curves of the neck and prevent neck tension as we sleep. The specially designed shape is designed to fit the anatomy of the spine. Sissel even offer a 5-year guarantee on shape retention.

Home Massager

Like spiky massage balls, this handheld massager is a great way of relieving tension in tight muscles. The vibrating massager has variable pressure settings and interchangeable heads. The larger head is great for working over larger muscles and the smaller head can pinpoint specific smaller spots.

Available to buy from Revive Chiropractic

Ice packs, spiky massage balls, orthopaedic pillows and biofreeze are all great products to help back pain. You can purchase them directly form the clinic. Feel free to ask for advice on how each of these products could help you to manage your back pain better.

To book an appointment at Revive Chiropractic you can book online at or call 0113  3472801.

Back pain putting people in Yorkshire off exercise

Revive Chiropractic is urging people to be aware of the benefits of exercise for improving their back health this World Spine Day (16th October). Back pain is cited by many as a reason for not exercising. In fact new research has found 39{8c34c0d03372d798e22443fa1cd79a4c0c458739bec8c1532104b8390ef42220} of people in Yorkshire have been prevented from exercising due to back pain or neck pain;

Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves comments: “We really want as many people as possible to get out there and enjoy sports. Moderate exercise is essential to build and maintain strength and flexibility. Exercise also plays a role in improving posture and protecting you from any further pain.”

“The spine is naturally strong and stable. So it’s worrying to find that so many people are being prevented from staying active due to back pain. While total rest may seem like a good way to recover, often continuing moderate physical activity will help in the long run. Your local chiropractor will be able to advise on what is right for you.”

Top tips for exercising without back pain

Leeds chiropractor Alison Eaves has developed these top tips to help you to exercise safely:

  • Know your equipment: When trying a new activity, it’s always best to make sure you ask your instructor how your equipment should be set up. Make sure it’s right for you. For example, if you’re cycling or spinning, you need to set your saddle and handlebar to the correct height. Make sure you are in a comfortable position that isn’t putting tension on your neck or back.
  • Know your limits: Even professional athletes aren’t born ready, it takes time to build the intensity of your practice. If you try a new sport, or want to intensify your workout, it’s important to take a slow approach and not to push your body’s limits. It is always advisable to visit a professional who can assess your body’s capabilities and advise on a safe way of training based on your body’s limitations
  • Warm up and cool down: Before starting any form of physical activity you should warm up properly.  Warm up any muscle groups which might be affected whilst you exercise. No warm up could result in pain and injury
  • Reduce the impact: If a previous injury is causing you pain, adapt your exercise to reduce the impact on your joints and muscles. Activities such as swimming, walking or yoga can be less demanding on your body keeping your joints mobile!
  • Not all exercise is the same: The fittest of athletes will still find it difficult to adapt to a new sport. Each sport uses some muscle groups more than others. Always approach a new activity with care and don’t assume that you can jump in at the deep end!

Where to find further advice on back pain

If you are experiencing pain for more than a few days then seek professional help. An undiagnosed problem could lead to longer-term problems if left untreated. The BCA has also created a programme of 3-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK. These can be slotted in to your daily schedule to help improve posture and prevent back pain. They also promote balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.

Should you wish to contact Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic please call 0113 347 2801 or go to Revive Chiropractic has clinics across Leeds.

Care for your back

Care for your back over the winter months

Mornings and evenings are starting to get darker and it is easy for us to become more sedentary as autumn sets in. This is bad-news for our backs and for our health. So how can you care for your back over the winter months?


How to care for your back?

We know that exercise is good for nearly all types of back pain and so stop with the excuses and get out there. It could be the gym, a brisk walk, some gardening or a 10-mile run should you fancy it! The point is we all need to move more and stay more active. Little and often is a good way to start.

It is too easy to get in from work, turn the heating up and have a cuppa. Why not try these tips to help get you out and staying active.

  1. Don’t set the heating for when you get in from work. That way it is easier to get in and get changed and out exercising before you get too cosy.
  2. You can also try exercising before you even step through the front door to avoid the sofa temptation entirely. Exercising on your way home from work is a great solution. Or go even further and get up early and exercise before work. That way you’ve done your exercise and still get sofa time.
  3. And if you really can’t find the time during busy workdays don’t forget your weekends. You can include the family on a walk or a bike ride.

Why is being sedentary so bad?

Sitting puts additional pressure on the joints, discs, muscles and ligaments of our spine causing increased tension and irritation to our spines. How often have you got up from sitting for a long time and thought, “ouch my back?!” We need to move regularly and stay active to maintain strength and flexibility in our spine. There is also overwhelming evidence that a sedentary lifestyle does us harm in terms of our general health (see this previous blog post Sitting for long periods of tie has also been linked with hypertension, obesity and excess body fat around the waist (

If you want to find out more about how you can care for your back through exercise book an appointment at Revive Chiropractic or call 0113 3472801

summer holidays protect your back

It’s holiday time! Protect your back

So with summer holidays almost upon us you are probably getting excited about the sunshine and sandy beaches. But have you taken time to consider your back?  Back pain can really ruin a holiday so make sure you protect your back. Here are some hints and A from Alison Eaves, chiropractor in Leeds, to help protect your back and have a great and comfortable time away.


  • Packing

Do not pack too much. Do you really need all that stuff? Remember you are going to have to lift that bag in and out of cars and up and down hotel stairs. Don’t make your bag heavier than it needs be. A heavy bag increases the chance of you straining your back from bending or twisting. Protect your back by keeping your bag as light as possible.


  • Keep active on long journeys

This applies to when you are travelling in the car or on the plane. Do not stay sitting in the same position for long periods. Protect your back and take regular breaks on long car journeys and get up and move regularly if you are on a long flight.


  • Don’t sunbathe in the same position all day

Remember to protect your back when sunbathing as well. You wouldn’t usually lie or sit in the same position for hours at work so don’t do it on holiday. Protect your back and keep getting up and moving around


  • Remember the same advice for sleeping

Just because you are in a new environment don’t forget to protect your back. Sleep on your side or on your back. And don’t sleep with lots of pillows just because you are in a hotel. One medium sized pillow to keep the neck in a neutral position is best.


  • Relax and enjoy your holiday

The final point to remember to protect your back is to relax and enjoy yourself! When we are stressed we tend to be more sensitive to back pain.


Alison Eaves is a chiropractor in Leeds. To make an appointment with Alison book online at or call 0113 3472801

Running Injuries Part 1

Following on from last weekend’s London Marathon, it seems a great time to discuss some of the most common running injuries and how low back pain can occur in runners. So look out for the next series of articles and blog posts from Revive Chiropractic all about running injuries and back pain in runners.

We see lots of runners here at Revive Chiropractic; from parkrun first timers to athletes training 5 or 6 times a week and no group are immune from running related injuries. From a back pain point of view, one of the first things to look at is tight hip flexors.

The hip flexors are the psoas muscle and the iliopsoas muscle that run from the low back and pelvis and attach onto the top of the thigh bone.

The job of the hip flexor is as the name suggests flexing the hip! In layman’s terms this is lifting the leg up in a bent position as if you are marching on the spot. Because when you run you use your hip flexors repeatedly there is a tendency for the hip flexors to over-tighten and become chronically shortened. This in turn leads to anterior tilting of the pelvis and resulting additional pressure on the lumbar facet joints (the joints of the spine).

psoas muscle

The psoas and the iliacus muscles make up the hip flexors


Lower cross syndrome placing additional strain on the lumbar facet joints through anterior pelvic tilt and increased lumber lordosis

lower crossed 2

Tight hip flexors causing anterior pelvic tilt





If you are feeling a bit tight and achy after a run then stretching is a good place to start. The quadriceps also works as a hip flexor so good to stretch that out too!

Stretches should be held for at least 30 seconds and repeated at least daily and definitely after any running. Chiropractic treatment can also help to mobilise or free-up the restricted lumbar facet joints and help to restore normal pelvic movement. This in turn will allow for a more fluid and energy efficient running style so you waste less energy and run quicker.

quadriceps stretch

Quadriceps stretch

hip flexor stretch

Psoas muscle stretch


Half term back pain?

Are you suffering from half term back pain? This blog post will offer help and advice to help you enjoy your half term without any annoying, nagging back pain.

This week is half term and many of you will be spending extra time at home with your children. Or maybe you are grandparents who are willingly helping outwith your grandchildren. Either way I know that on Monday morning the phone will ring with patients telling me they have back pain that started over the holidays.

So why is back pain such a problem at holiday time?

Our bodies and our back’s in particular like routine. So when we do something out of the ordinary such as spending more time with young children then our back’s tend to grumble. We also do more of the things that we know aggravate back pain like bending and twisting. Grandparents especially may find that they are spending additional hours bending over playing with young children and all of the additional twisting and lifting that goes with looking after children.

We also tend to go on more days out and more adventures! This often means loading the car with picnics, toys and heavy items, all of which have the potential to strain your back. Sometimes there may be a long drive to get to your destination and we know that sitting and particularly sitting in a car for long periods can aggravate back pain. Why? Because sitting puts additional strain on the structures of the low back such as the disc’s, joints, muscles and ligaments of the spine.

So how do I avoid half term back pain?

  • Take regular breaks from any activities to get up and move about
  • If you are sat down then think about your posture and try to suck your tummy and core in as this helps prevent slouching
  • Only sit on the floor with young children for short periods. Sitting cross-legged or with your legs out to one side will cause rotation of the hips and lead to tightness in the low back
  • Go outside for a walk. Walking is great for back pain as it keeps you mobile. Either take the kids with you on a short walk (depending on their age) or get out for a walk at a convenient time when your partner or another family member is able to take over responsibility for the children
  • Use lumbar support if sat in the car on a long journey. A rolled up hand towel placed horizontally in the curve of the low back should do the job

If despite the above you still have half term back pain then you can make an appointment to see chiropractor Alison Eaves at either the North Leeds Clinic (Otley Road) on 0113 3472801 or the East Leeds Clinic (Mortec Park) on 0113 3470024. Alternatively you can book online

Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Exercises for lower back pain are a great way to help low back pain. It doesn’t matter how long you have had back pain for, most people will benefit from doing regular exercises. For most patients who visit a chiropractor exercises for lower back pain will form a key part of the treatment plan.

Why do exercises for lower back pain?

Exercises will prevent the back from becoming too stiff and immobile in the short term and then over time exercises will build strength in the lower back muscles and just as importantly stability. It is the combination of mobility, strength and stability that is key to improving and getting rid of lower back pain.

What exercises should I do?

1) Start of with something like the Cat-Camel exercise. Complete 10 repetitions.

2) You can then build to the quadruped. Complete 10 repetitions on each leg but keep on alternating sides.

These are great to get you started.

What if doing the exercises hurts?

This can be a real problem if you are suffering from lower back pain because it will often hurt to move and change position, patients think that the best thing to do is to rest and do nothing. In most cases resting will simply prolong your back pain and make it worse and you are better to try and keep moving about, albeit just gentle pottering.  As long as you are only experiencing mild discomfort and the discomfort does not last for more than 10-15 minutes after doing the exercises then carry on. If you are in any doubt regarding how to do these exercises for lower back pain then consult a professional back pain specialist such as a chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist for advice.

You can book an appointment with our chiropractor Alison Eaves at either the North Leeds or East Leeds Clinics. To book please call 0113 347 2801 or see the contact information at the top of the page.


Tips For Avoiding Back Pain On Holiday

Helpful tips for avoiding back pain when you go on your holidays. Revive Chiropractic chiropractors in Leeds share some tips.

You’ve been looking forward to your holiday for ages. Months of long hours and working hard and then when it finally comes around you are faced with back pain. We get lots of calls to Revive Chiropractic just before holiday time saying “help!”. All the pre-holiday rushing about you’ve pulled your back or maybe you have had back pain for a few days or a few weeks and it just hasn’t quite gone away.

Here are some tips to ease the burden of back pain on your holidays:

Suitcases: Choose the lightest suitcase you can find and preferably one with wheels and where possibly pack two lighter suitcases rather than ne very heavy one. If you do end up with a very heavy suitcase then push it rather than pull it.

Lift cases correctly: bend your hips and your knees and not your back! Keep your feet wide apart and avoid twisting through the back or dragging and arm/shoulder behind you as this also twists the spine.

Sleep well: tiredness increases the chance of back injury so get a good night’s sleep before you jet off and have plenty of rest

Keep moving: travelling in the car or by aeroplane then consider your poor back and keep moving. Get up out of your seat a regular intervals if on the plane, you wouldn’t sit for hours at a time usually so don’t do it. If you are travelling by car then stop regularly and take a brief brisk walk as this will loosen and relief any tightness in the low back form prolonged sitting

Sunbathing: do not arch your back or neck for long periods and lying propped up on your elbows reading a book is a no no.
Remember all this advice on the way home as you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good holiday.. Have a great summer.

If you are worried about back pain ruining your holiday then call 0113 347 2801 to book an appointment at Revive Chiropractic to see a chiropractor in North Leeds.

Chiropractic Awareness Week 13th-19th April 2015

Did you know that this week is chiropractic awareness week? Chiropractic awareness week is running 13th-19th April and there has already been some great coverage in the press. Just in case you may have missed it here are some articles you may be interested in:

The Independent:

Looking at electronic devices leads to increase in neck and back problems

Daily Mirror:

Back pain soars among young people because they are sitting down for too long

The Times:

Youngsters are becoming sitting targets for back pain

All three of these articles focus on the shocking rise in back pain amongst young patients under the age of 30. It is suggested that the near constant use of mobile phones, laptops and tablets is causing too much stress and strain to our spines, leading to pain and disability. There has been a steep rise in the number of people in this age group reporting back pain and neck pain and I would definitely say that my practice reflects this. I’ve been working as a chiropractor now for nearly seven years and more and more younger patients are coming in to see me for help with painful back and neck conditions. It always used to be old age causing the trouble!

The good news is that this type of pain is usually relatively straight-forward to sort out and responds very well to chiropractic treatment. Whilst patients are young you have the opportunity to change postural habits and explain the importance of good posture and how to sit properly. This should lead to less spinal problems in the future and a healthier, happier population.

Neck and back pain in patients under 30 years old is not ‘normal’ and we need to address this sudden and dramatic rise in spinal pain with sensible advice on how it can best be avoided. It is great to see such great news coverage for the chiropractic profession and we need to work alongside osteopaths and physiotherapists to help the population reduce the surge in back pain that is highlighted in this survey.

What does chiropractic treatment do?

Once the cause of the pain has been identified I will work on the patient’s spine to restore movement to any parts of the neck or the back that have become stiff or jammed. Conversely if there is instability and too much movement we may look at exercises to strengthen specific muscles. Check out these simple exercises that can be performed daily to help you with any neck or back pain from Revive TV.

Spread the word about chiropractic

Maybe it is your son or daughter who is complaining of back or neck pain or a friend? If you have personally benefitted from chiropractic treatment then suggest that they come and see us at Revive Chiropractic and we can help. It is amazing just how many people still don’t know what a chiropractor is or what we do!