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The Ultimate Guide To Sciatica

Humans are incredibly agile creatures. In terms of flexibility, mobility and versatile movement, there are no other species quite like us. From walking and running to swimming, jumping and climbing, there isn’t much we haven’t mastered. However, our bodies are not infallible; age, injury and complications can prevent us from doing things we once loved. Though ageing is a natural and unavoidable progression, certain ailments can cause serious discomfort and require treatment where possible.

One physical issue that often affects individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 is Sciatica. This condition is associated with pain along the sciatic nerve which spreads down to the thigh. No matter the cause, sciatica can seriously disrupt an individual’s life, causing constant pain, discomfort and mobility issues.

If you, or a loved one, are suffering from sciatica-like symptoms, you may be wondering what you can do. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available that have proven extremely effective; the key is to find a solution that works for you.

To properly treat and overcome sciatica, it is worth gaining a deeper understanding of the issue. This will facilitate proper diagnosis and, subsequently, an effective solution.

Here at Forest Hall Chiropractic Clinic, we understand the impact that an issue such as sciatica can have on your quality of life. Read on to discover our complete guide to sciatica, including causes, symptoms and treatments.

What Is Sciatica?

Before we unpick the symptoms and causes of sciatica, it is worth starting with the basics. The term sciatica is used to describe a pain that travels from the lower back, via the hips and buttocks, and down each leg, following the sciatic nerve. This pain is triggered as a result of the sciatic nerve being pinched and is usually only experienced on one side of the body.

As mentioned briefly above, the pain most commonly affects individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 years old; it is often a result of an issue such as a herniated disc or inflammation.

Most cases of sciatica will rectify within a few weeks, however more severe cases may require professional attention. Below, we’ll explore the common causes and symptoms of sciatica as well as the risk factors that can impact the pain.

Symptoms Of Sciatica

So, how does sciatica present itself? Typically, individual experiences of sciatic pain will vary from dull aches to intense, sharp burning sensations, sometimes likened to an electric shock or swift jolt. These symptoms may be heightened by sitting down for long periods of time or from sneezing or coughing. Sciatica is normally present on one side of the body, as opposed to both.

Other symptoms of sciatica may include muscular weakening, numbness and tingling in a foot or leg. A single leg may experience all of the above in separate places.

What Causes Sciatica

When it comes to causes of sciatica, there is no single answer. As we touched upon earlier, the root of the problem is pressure on the sciatic nerve, but this can be caused by a number of different things. These include herniated discs, misalignment, spondylolisthesis and trauma injuries.

It goes without saying that the nature of treatment depends entirely on the cause. For example, issues related to trauma and injury may require surgery, whereas misalignment can often be rectified via chiropractic treatment.

Herniated Disc

One of the most common causes of sciatica is a herniated disc. As our lower backs are constantly under stress from supporting weight and moving, spinal discs are prone to injury and pain. Injury or trauma to your disc can lead to a shift in positioning.

As spinal discs are usually located in close proximity to the spinal cord and nerve roots, movement can cause a number of issues. Firstly, a herniated disc may leak chemical substances, leading to inflammation of the sciatic nerve roots.

Additionally, a herniated disc may slip into a position that puts direct mechanical pressure on the root of the nerve, causing sciatica.


Another common cause of sciatica and other nerve-related issues is the misalignment of skeletal systems. As the pelvis and spinal cord are crucial to proper mobility and physical function, misalignment of either can cause excessive pressure or loading to be placed upon the discs, leading to sciatic pain.

Here at Forest Hall Chiropractic Clinic, we possess a wealth of experience when it comes to the treatment and correction of misalignment-related pain. Such conditions include:

  • Neck & Shoulder Pain

  • Low Leg & Back Pain

  • Frozen Shoulders

  • Sports Injuries

  • Dizziness & Vertigo

  • Neuralgia

We can help treat these symptoms, using our specialist team to find the best option for you. Each of our chiropractors are fully trained to help deal with sciatica, a slipped disk, elbow pain, a trapped nerve, headaches, and low back and leg pain.

Increased Risks

Additionally, it is worth noting the factors can increase the likelihood of sciatic pain and similar issues. These include age, weight, occupation, posture and ongoing conditions such as diabetes. Understanding the health implications of such factors is often the first step in the process to treating sciatica. For example, a healthy lifestyle, with moderate exercise and physical conditioning can strengthen back muscles and take pressure off the spinal nerves.

Treatment For Sciatica

If you’re suffering from sciatic pain, it’s likely you’ll be searching for an effective method of treatment. Of course, this is dependent on the root of the problem, as well as the age and overall health of the individual, however there are a number of treatments that have proven effective.

Chiropractic Treatment

Depending on the nature of sciatica, chiropractic treatment is often a viable and effective solution. If suitable, a chiropractor will be able to perform precise spinal manipulations in an attempt to reposition a herniated disc and relieve pressure from the sciatic nerve. Similarly, this technique may also be used to restore misaligned vertebral discs.

Chiropractic treatment will vary depending on the severity of the problem, but common methods involve applying swift thrusts and gentle pressure. Done properly, this treatment can significantly lessen sciatic pain and allow nerve signals to flow again.

Lifestyle Changes & Exercise

Additionally, sciatica may be caused as a result of certain lifestyles, and the physical habits that accompany said lifestyles. For example, specific movements, styles of sitting and standing, and overall posture can have a profound impact on sciatic pain and overall physical health. It is worth noting that a chiropractor will look into all aspects of your life, offering suggestions and guidance to help strengthen muscles and prevent issues such as herniations.

What’s more, a chiropractor will be able to recommend gentle exercises, stretches and routines that work to relieve pressure from the area surrounding the sciatic nerve. These may include simple movements to reduce muscle inflammation and can be done easily from the comfort of an individual’s home.

Medications & Surgery For Low Leg And Back Pain

Of course, more severe cases of sciatica may require medication or surgery. While the problem is known to resolve itself within a few weeks, it is worth seeking professional medical help if it persists, or worsens. Trouble controlling bowel or bladder movements, violent shooting pains and muscle weakness are among the symptoms of severe sciatica and can be incredibly uncomfortable to live without medical assistance.

Forest Hall Chiropractic Clinic

Here at Forest Hall Chiropractic Clinic, we’re well aware of the disruption that issues related to misalignment and sciatica can cause. If you’re experiencing sciatic pain, and are considering chiropractic treatment, look no further. Our team are incredibly well-versed in the treatment of common and unique physical issues alike, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Reach out today, we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements and work towards a solution.

Call us on 0191 216-1100.

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