Sciatic Pain - Pro Chiropractic - Camberwell, Melbourne
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Sciatic Pain

Sciatic Pain

Sciatica is the name for a syndrome which is characterised by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The pain is felt deep in the buttock with pain that travels down the back of the leg and to the foot.

“Sciatica is commonly mistaken as a medical condition when it is actually a symptom of an underlying medical condition.”

Sciatica is often characterised by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • Leg pain often described as burning, tingling, or searing (versus a dull ache)
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
  • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk
  • Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes (it rarely occurs only in the foot)



Many things can cause the sciatic nerve to become irritated. The most common causes are:

  • Lumbar herniated disc
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Pregnancy
  • Scar Tissue (Epidural Fibrosis)
  • Injury to muscles/ ligaments – this can cause swelling and inflammation around the back which can irritate the sciatic nerve. Some muscle problems can mimic sciatica

Less common causes include:

  • Spinal tumour; in rare cases, a spinal tumour can cause an impingement of a nerve in the lower back
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

Please note that the above is not a complete list. It is important to get in contact with your health professional to find the underlying cause of sciatic pain, as treatments will often differ depending on the cause.



Several alternative treatments have also been shown to provide effective sciatic pain relief for many patients. Chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapy are some of the more common forms of alternative care for sciatic pain.



Spinal adjustments are performed by appropriately trained health professionals, such as chiropractors and osteopathic physicians. Adjustments focus on providing better spinal column alignment, which in turn is designed to help address a number of underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain.

Manual adjustments (by appropriately trained health professionals) can create a better healing environment and should not be painful.

Additionally, chiropractors are also trained in various soft tissue therapy techniques and rehabilitation to address muscles that could also be a contributing factor to sciatic pain.



Specific exercises will depend on the underlying medical condition causing the sciatic pain, as well as a number of other factors, such as the patient’s level of pain and overall conditioning.

When working to improve symptoms associated with sciatica, exercise should have the primary goal of decreasing neural irritation. When neural symptoms improve pain should begin to leave the foot/ leg and move closer to the spine.

Some recommended exercise examples are:

  • Strengthening exercises; designed to strengthen the spinal column and the supporting muscles, ligaments, and tendons
  • Stretching exercises; designed to target muscles that cause pain when they are tight and inflexible.
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises e.g. walking/ swimming
  • Sciatic Nerve flossing; nerve flossing is a type of gentle exercise that stretches irritated nerves. This can improve their range of motion and reduce pain

While bed rest may provide some temporary pain relief, prolonged bed rest may be unnecessary and hinder your recovery.

Practice safe lifting and handling. One of the biggest causes of back injury, particularly at work, is people lifting or handling objects incorrectly. Learning the correct method for lifting and handling objects can help prevent further injury.

For any further information please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Yours in health,
Pro Chiropractic




Sciatica – Better Health Channel. 2018. Sciatica – Better Health Channel. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 October 2018].
Stephen H. Hochschuler, MD. 2018. Sciatica Treatment. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 October 2018].


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