What is Sciatic?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs from the lower portion of the spine, through the buttocks and down into the thigh and lower leg. It is responsible for feeling and movement in the major muscles of the hamstring, lower leg, and foot.Irritation of the sciatic nerve at any point along its path is commonly referred to as “sciatica”.

Symptoms are distinctive; excruciating low back pain that travels down into the buttocks, legs and feet and is often accompanied by numbness, tingling or burning.

Sciatica sufferers may experience shooting pains merely walking, bending at the waist, sitting, sneezing, coughing or laughing. Severe cases can lead to weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder problems or paralysis.

Our experts in Crystal Lake are well versed in sciatica pain treatment and will provide you with sciatica pain relief.  Contact our skilled chiropractors today to begin your leg pain treatment and start feeling better.

Other conditions that put pressure on the sciatic nerve, include:



Lumber Spinal Stenosis
In lumbar spinal stenosis, the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the nerves within the spinal cord or the roots of the branching nerves.

Also typically the result of degeneration, spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra extends forward over another, pressing on a nerve.

Piriforms Syndrome
The piriforms is a large muscle in the buttocks. This muscle can become very tight, putting pressure directly on the sciatic nerve, which runs beneath the muscle.

Trauma includes a direct or indirect hit, strike jarring of the body, from something as traumatic as a car accident or fall.



Sciatica is a disorder that can be caused by an underlying problem such as spinal tumors or result from corrective procedures such as hip or knee surgery. Most sciatica is the result of disc degeneration or misalignment that causes vertebrae to ‘pinch’ or compress the sciatic nerve. A number of conditions that involve your bones, joints and muscles could potentially result in sciatic symptoms. Trauma, age and occupation are key factors that affect disc degeneration and vertebrae alignment.

Diagnosis & Treatment

A diagnosis of sciatica does not indicate the point of nerve entrapment, it simply identifies the likely source of the problem. The two most common sites are where the sciatic nerve originates at the spine and where the nerve passes under the piriformis muscle. A comprehensive health exam, palpation of the spine and x rays can help your chiropractor determine the type of the techniques to target your specific symptoms.

Treatment may include a combination of:

stretching exercises, cryotherapy, ergonomic lifestyle changes, massage and chiropractic adjustments

to release the pinched sciatic nerve. As your body responds, the treatment scope and techinques may be modified as symptoms alleviate and change.