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.


Chiropractic Best Option for Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint is a common complaint and can often cause pain to radiate (spread) into the buttocks and the back of the thigh down as far as the knee. A recent study in a European Journal investigated what treatment works best for sacroiliac pain. When they compared chiropractic treatment to either physiotherapy treatment or cortisone injection guess which came out most effective?

Yes you guessed it, chiropractic! The study looked at treatment in 51 patients with sacroiliac related leg pain over a 6 week period with subsequent follow up at 12 weeks. Treatment outcome were assessed on the basis of increasing or decreasing pain levels and average pain scores. For chiropractic the success rate was 72{8c34c0d03372d798e22443fa1cd79a4c0c458739bec8c1532104b8390ef42220}, compared to cortisone 50{8c34c0d03372d798e22443fa1cd79a4c0c458739bec8c1532104b8390ef42220} and in last place physiotherapy at just 20{8c34c0d03372d798e22443fa1cd79a4c0c458739bec8c1532104b8390ef42220} success. The study also found that only chiropractic manual therapy gave a significant reduction in pain levels. The study concluded that chiropractic manual therapy should be the treatment of choice for patients suffering sacroiliac joint pain referring down the leg.

Here at Revive Chiropractic in Leeds I see lots of patients with sacroiliac joint problems. I already know that chiropractic treatment works very well for this problem because I see the great results in everyday practice but it is always great to see the research to back it up.

If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain or leg pain then make an appointment at Revive Chiropractic and we can diagnose the problem and start with effective treatment. Call the clinic on 07828 686026 to book an appointment.


Visser L, Woudenberg N, et al. Treatment of the sacroiliac joint in patients with leg pain: a randomized-controlled trial. European Spine Journal 2013 [online]. doi: 10.1007/s00586-013-2833-2.