Sciatica is a medical term that is used to describe a sensation of lower back pain that radiates down the buttock, along the back of the leg, and extends below the knee. Sciatica occurs due to compression and/or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is created by a collection of four or five smaller nerves which join together after they exit the spinal column in the lower spine. Collectively, this nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body and at its thickest point, is about the width of your thumb.

Typically, sciatica effects one side of the body; however, in rare instances, it can occur on both sides. The symptoms of sciatica occur as a result of irritation of the sciatica nerve itself, or of any one of its smaller constituents. This irritation can occur for any of a number of reasons:

Herniated disc


Piriformis syndrome

Stenosis of the spinal canal

Degenerative arthritis of the facet joints


Believe it or not, sciatica can occur due to repetitively sitting on a bulging wallet!

In the past, treatment of sciatica involved the use of pain medications, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and in some cases surgery. The chiropractic approach to this condition is much different. It requires the use of spinal adjusting, education, and stretching to establish normal motion and reduce tension on the nerve.

Chiropractic care has proven to be very successful in removing the cause of sciatica. In fact, a British Study of 741 patients suffering from sciatica revealed that those who received spinal adjustments achieved better results than those who received medical treatment.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from sciatica, let them know that your Comox Chiropractor, Dr. Houlgrave, may offer the solution to their problem.