The sciatic nerves are the largest and longest nerves of the body, reaching about the size of your thumb in diameter, and running down the back of each leg. When these nerves are irritated or affected by the inflammation of nearby soft tissues, chiropractors refer to this as sciatica.
One of the most common causes of sciatic leg pain is the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. It can be accompanied by the bulging or herniation of the soft pulpy discs which seperate each spinal bone. This can irritate or put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord. The result can be an intense pain shooting down either or both legs.
In the past, treatment has involved pain medications, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and even surgery. The chiropractic approach is to use carefully directed and controlled pressure to remove the interference from spinal structures. These chiropractic adjustments can be quite effective in reducing nerve irritation and its associated pain.
Sciatica, like other health problems that can be traced to the spine, often respond dramatically to the restoration of normal spinal function through conservative chiropractic care.