Why Do We Get Sciatica?

Sciatica is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. Many of us have heard of this term, but not really understand what happens when we get it or what even causes it. We just know it hurts! Sciatica is characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and down each leg. The pain can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected leg.

Causes of Sciatica:

Everett chiropractor for sciaticaSciatica is usually caused by a herniated or slipped disc in the spine, which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Other causes of sciatica include spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal, spondylolisthesis, which is a condition where one vertebra slips forward over another, and degenerative disc disease, which is the gradual deterioration of the discs in the spine. Additionally, pregnancy can also lead to sciatica due to the pressure on the sciatic nerve from the growing uterus.

A physical exam by your healthcare provider can help you determine if you have sciatica.

Treatment of Sciatica:

Treatment for sciatica depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the symptoms. Most cases of sciatica can be treated with non-surgical methods such as:

  1. Rest and Activity Modification: Resting the affected area and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain can help alleviate symptoms.
  2. Exercise and Physical Therapy: Strengthening exercises and stretches can help improve flexibility and reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  3. Medications: Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In severe cases, prescription medications such as muscle relaxants or opioids may be needed.
  4. Hot or Cold Compresses: Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  5. Injections: Steroid injections into the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

In rare cases where non-surgical methods are not effective, surgery may be required to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Physical Therapy in Everett, Snohomish County

Having a sciatica diagnoses doesn’t have to be scary or painful. At ESR, we will develop a treatment plan specifically for your condition which may include physical therapy or chiropractic care. If you think you might have sciatica, please schedule an appointment with us: 425-347-8614.


  1. Chat GPT https://openai.com/
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Sciatica. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435
  3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2021). Sciatica. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/sciatica/

Leave a comment