Chiropractic for Sciatica

There are a few classic symptoms of Sciatica including pain down the leg and numbness. Chiropractors can help remove the pressure off the sciatic nerve and decrease the pain by providing adjustments to the spine to help increase motion and restore proper function.

Is it true that the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, and where is it located?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Yes, it actually is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back. It passes under the glute muscles, down the back of the leg, and at the knee, it branches. One branch goes down the front of the lower leg into the top of the foot. The other goes down the back of the lower leg into the bottom of the foot.

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

Dr. Scott Gardner: Some of the classic symptoms of sciatica are low back pain that radiates down the back of the leg and usually below the knee. The pain down the leg actually without back pain would be another symptom, and numbness along the course of the sciatic nerve. Most extreme symptoms would be some type of a drop foot.

Can a chiropractor help determine the cause of sciatica?

Dr. Scott Gardner: Yes, by doing a proper evaluation including orthopedic and neurological testing, palpation, which is feeling the bones and muscles of the spine, taking any necessary X-rays, and asking specific questions to find out exact details of the individual’s health challenge.

What type of treatments or techniques will a chiropractor use to help relieve the pain?

Dr. Scott Gardner: A chiropractor will give specific adjustments to the spine to increase motion within the joint, which will help to remove pressure from the sciatic nerve. There may also be some stretching and maybe even some tractioning of the lower back, and some home care would be recommended as well.

What can someone with sciatic pain do at home to help relieve the symptoms?

Dr. Scott Gardner: The most important thing someone can do at home is to use ice. It will help to decrease inflammation, relax the muscles, and decrease pain. One of the things that we encourage is to actually stay away from heat because heat will actually cause the reaction of all the things that I just said in the opposite. So, it will actually draw more fluid to the area. It can actually cause more pain because now there is more inflammation as a result of that fluid increase. But really, the most important thing, the person really needs to seek out a chiropractor to have a proper assessment and find a long term solution.

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If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Scott Gardner visit or call 973-614-9256 to schedule an appointment.

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