Sciatica Causes & Chiropractic Treatment in Arlington, VA

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Sciatica is a condition that can cause severe pain in the lower back and legs. Call (571) 568-8496 and book your appointment with experienced chiropractors of District Wellness. We can help you manage and ease sciatic pain and discomfort.

Sciatica Pain – An Overview

Sciatica is a medical condition characterized by shooting pain going down the leg from the lower back. This pain may go down the back, outside, or front of the leg. Onset is often sudden following activities like heavy lifting, although gradual onset may also occur. The pain is often described as sharp, shooting, or searing. Typically, it gets worse with sitting or standing and improves with lying down or moving around. It can be accompanied by numbness, weakness, or pins and needles in the affected leg.

The term “sciatica” describes a symptom—pain along the sciatic nerve pathway—rather than a specific condition, illness, or disease. Some use it to mean any pain starting in the lower back and going down the leg. Others use the term more specifically to mean a nerve dysfunction caused by a herniated disc.

Causes of Sciatica

There are a number of medical conditions that can cause sciatica nerve pain. Herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and piriformis syndrome are all common causes of pinched nerves leading to sciatica. Sciatica can also be caused by pregnancy, obesity, and diabetes.

  • Disc Herniation

Disc herniation is a common cause of sciatica. The discs in your spine act as cushions between the vertebrae. A disc herniation occurs when the inner layer of the disc ruptures and the outer layer bulges out. This herniated disk can put pressure on the spinal nerve roots and sciatic nerve, causing pain.

  • Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is another common cause of Sciatica. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces in the spinal cord in lower back, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots. This condition is often caused by aging, but it can also be caused by injuries or diseases.

  • Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is another condition that can cause Sciatica. The piriformis muscle is a small muscle that runs from the hip to the spine. This muscle helps stabilize the hip joint. If the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasms, it can cause sciatic nerve impingement, causing pain.

  • Pregnancy, Obesity, and Diabetes

Pregnancy and obesity cause sciatica by putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Pregnancy can cause Sciatica by the baby’s weight putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Obesity can cause Sciatica due to the extra weight puts pressure on the sciatic nerve root. Diabetes can cause Sciatica when the high blood sugar levels damage the nerves.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back, legs, and feet. Sciatica can also cause weakness in the legs and difficulty walking or standing. It can also cause a burning sensation or a feeling of electrical shock down the legs.

Sciatica itself is not a serious condition, but sometimes sciatica can be a symptom of other medical condition such as cauda equina syndrome, spinal tumors, or infection.

Sciatica Treatment Options

There are a number of nonsurgical sciatica treatments: Physical therapy, yoga, and massage are all effective treatments for Sciatica. Surgery is also an option for some people with severe Sciatica. Whether you suffer from acute sciatica or chronic pain, these treatment options ought to help relieve pain.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often recommended as a first-line treatment for relieving sciatica pain. Physical exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the spine, which can help to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve.


Stretching, especially of the lumbar spine and hamstrings, can help relieve sciatic pain. Yoga can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles, which can help to relieve sciatica symptoms.


Massage can help to relax the muscles, which can help to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve.


Surgery is an option for some people with severe Sciatica. Surgery can be used to remove the herniated disc or to decompress the spinal canal. Surgery is often used as a last resort when other treatments have failed.

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica Pain

Chiropractic treatment is a type of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, with an emphasis on the spine. Chiropractors use a variety of different techniques to treat sciatica, including spinal manipulation, massage, and rehabilitative exercises.

Spinal manipulation is the most common type of chiropractic treatment for sciatica. During this procedure, the chiropractor uses their hands to apply pressure to the spine in order to release tension and realign the vertebrae.

Massage therapy is another common treatment option for sciatica. This technique involves using rhythmic motions to knead and stroke the muscles in the affected area. This helps to loosen the muscles and relieve pain.

Rehabilitative exercises are often prescribed as part of a chiropractic treatment plan for sciatica. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles in the back and improve range of motion.

Chiropractic treatment is generally considered safe when it is performed by a qualified practitioner. However, there are some risk factors such as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. It is important to speak to your doctor before beginning any new treatment plan.

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