Pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause extreme pain or only mild tingling or muscle weakness. Chiropractors provide relief from sciatica by taking pressure off the sciatic nerve and they help find the cause of the pressure to prevent sciatica from recurring.

Sciatica is the term used to describe the pain stemming from the sciatic nerve. Where is this nerve located and why does it cause so much pain?

Dr. Dennis Cronk: Sciatica is a general term for a collection of nerves that emanate from the low back, that course through the glutes of the butt and to the back of the leg down to the feet. They are a collection of nerves because the sciatic isn’t just one nerve, it’s a combination of nerves from the lumbar spine or the lower back. As it courses its way through the lower half of the body, the sciatic nerve, as it’s called, will also send off branches to different parts of the lower extremities. That is basically the road map of your sciatic nerve. The reason why it can cause a lot of pain is because it is one of the primary nerve supply of the lower half of the body and anything that irritates that nerve, whether through pressure or chemically or mostly stress, can cause pain but also, more commonly, numbness, tingling, and maybe weakness in the muscles.

Can you describe some of the symptoms of sciatica and the type of pain that people experience?

Dr. Dennis Cronk: I can not only tell what people experience, I can tell you what I experienced. By having pressure on the sciatic nerve, whether constant or intermittent, if it is right on the nerve, you’re going to get excruciating, burning, aching pain that will feel like someone just stuck a knife in you. But you can also have lesser symptoms of that, not less annoying, of things like numbness or tingling and muscle weakness over time.

How do chiropractors provide relief from sciatica?

Dr. Dennis Cronk: Chiropractors, primarily, provide relief from sciatica by taking pressure off of the nerve. Whether that pressure is caused by bone, muscle, or the disc of the low back or the neck, through adjustments and related care, chiropractors can safely and effectively, over 85% of the time, as a first treatment, provide relief and stability in that area.

Can sciatica be completely healed or does it always reoccur?

Dr. Dennis Cronk: Sciatica, as a diagnosed condition, can be released. However, what should be best understood is what is causing this sciatica. What is putting pressure on the nerve? What is causing that nerve to fire when it’s not asked to? Through that process, you can help to slow down, reverse, or stop the incidents of sciatica.

What can people do at home to help with the pain from sciatica?

Dr. Dennis Cronk: That’s a great question because I don’t need to see people every day. In fact, the more I see people, the more they are dependent on me instead of taking responsibility and doing things that can help them at home. Some of the classic things that people can do at home are intermittent ice or heat, definitely stretching, which a good chiropractor will show them, exercises, getting proper rest, nutrition and overall health to afford a stable atmosphere for the body to stay healthy.

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