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Sciatica FAQ - Why Sciatica Doctors Are Often Chiropractors

lady with back pain on couch

Sciatica is a nerve pain that begins in the lower back and typically extends down one leg. It typically worsens with periods of sitting or standing. Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, it is a symptom of one or more underlying conditions.

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about sciatica

Sciatica FAQ

What are the common symptoms?

  • Most often sciatica pain starts in the lower back
  • The pain seems to travel down one leg all the way down to the feet
  • Sciatica usually affects only a single leg
  • Some people describe it as a burning sensation
  • In severe cases, the leg muscles can feel numb

What are some of the common causes?

The discs between the spinal bones of the lower back are often involved. Trauma can cause one or more discs to bulge. This crowds nearby nerves, causing irritation and inflammation. Coughing, sneezing or other kinds of movement can be painful. If neglected, the nerve irritation extends down one or both legs along the sciatic nerves. The pain appears in the leg, but the culprit is often the lower back!

How do you get sciatica?

It’s easy to trace some spinal problems to an event, such as a car accident. Yet, sciatica is often the result of cumulative damage. Years of bad posture, poor muscle tone, excess weight or countless other causes sets the stage. Then, something simple like bending over to tie your shoes can trigger an episode. Spinal decay can be another culprit. Instead of disc thinning that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve roots, arthritic bone spurs can intrude into the space normally reserved for the nerve.

Can chiropractic cure sciatica?

Actually, chiropractic doesn’t cure anything! Only your body can do that. The chiropractic approach to sciatica (and other health problems) is to help restore the way your spine works, reducing nerve irritation and revitalizing your own healing ability.

How much chiropractic care will be needed?

Most sciatica patients are delighted with the results they get after weeks or months of care. Naturally, this varies from patient to patient. After a relapse or two, many discover that years of neglect have produced spinal instabilities that never fully heal. These patients elect to continue with periodic chiropractic checkups. It’s up to you.

What if I don’t remember any ‘trauma’?

This is a common refrain. Because our bodies are unusually adaptive, we can often accommodate a variety of stresses for years. Finally, like the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” we turn or bend funny and suddenly our spine succumbs to the accumulation of stress.

Is There Hope For Permanent Relief?

Fortunately, improving joint motion in the lower back with a program of chiropractic adjustments has produced results for many people. It all starts with a consultation and thorough examination. If we think we can help, we’ll tell you. And if we don’t think we can help, we’ll tell you that too and refer you to someone we think can. Get started today.

Contracted Leg Length Test

Here’s a simple test you conduct at home to see if you’re a good candidate for chiropractic care:

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Assessment

Lumbar Test, step 1

Have the test subject wear a pair of hard soled shoes and lie across a bed, face down, with arms relaxed at each side. (The head must remain straight down throughout the test.)

Apply equal pressure with both thumbs to the arches of each shoe.

Are both legs of equal length when the bottoms of the shoes are parallel?

Note the following

  • Left leg short
  • Right leg short
  • Equal length

Bend both legs to a 90° angle so the bottoms of the shoes are parallel with the floor.

Does one leg appear shorter?

  • Left leg short
  • Right leg short
  • Equal length


  1. A difference of greater than 1/4″ in any of the positions is clinically significant.
  2. Uneven leg length is a common sign of spinal problems that often respond to chiropractic care.

If so, these are significant findings. Call The Wellness Connection to schedule a more thorough examination.

Call or contact our practice today!

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