The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that originates in the lower back and travels through the buttock and down the leg.

What is the sciatic nerve?

Sciatica symptoms occur when the large sciatic nerve is irritated.

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is composed of individual nerve roots that start by branching out from the spine in the lower back.

  • The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and runs down the back of each leg.
  • At each level of the lower spine a nerve root exits from the inside of the spine and then comes together to make up the large sciatic nerve.
  • Portions of the sciatic nerve then branch out in each leg to innervate certain parts of the leg – e.g. the buttock, thigh, calf, foot, toes.

The sciatica symptoms (e.g. leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, possibly symptoms that radiate into the foot) are different depending on where the nerve is pinched.

Sciatica Nerve Pain


Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely can occur in both legs)
  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk

Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. Specific sciatica symptoms also vary widely in type, location and severity, depending upon the condition causing the sciatica.

Chiropractic/manual manipulation to treat sciatica symptoms

Sometimes, a Chiropractor will find the source of the nerve blockage and use manual adjustments to correct the spinal misalignment. The adjustments are designed to remove the blockage that is pinching the sciatic nerve and causing the pain. Massage therapy may be used to reduce muscle spasms.  Pain medications merely mask the symptoms and never heal the cause.

Spinal adjustments and manual manipulation performed by Chiropractors are focused on providing better spinal column alignment, which in turn should help to address a number of underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain and create a better healing environment. For more in-depth information about sciatica, please see our sciatica article.

Does this sound familiar? Worried that the pain might get worse? Don’t be! Call Jeremy on 01923 675 000 or 07894 011 599 and make sure you stay fit and healthy!


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