Sciatica is pain that begins in the lower back/tailbone area and can travel down the back of the leg and even into the foot or toes. Sciatica is not actually a medical condition, but is merely a symptom of an underlying problem. Common causes of sciatica are: herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative discs, spondylolisthesis, severe muscle spasms (piriformis syndrome) or vertebral misalignments.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to perform thorough orthopedic, neurologic and biomechanical exams of the low back and legs to determine the actual cause of sciatica. Once the cause has been determined, treatment can be tailored to address the underlying problem, thereby reducing irritation to the nerve and providing relief of sciatic pain.
Chiropractic treatment of sciatica generally involves lumbar traction, carefully controlled spinal manipulation, physiotherapy, such as heat or ultrasound, to reduce muscle spasm and core strengthening exercises.