Treatment of Sciatica in Virginia Beach


One of the more common conditions treated by chiropractic physicians is a  pain or numbness that starts in the low back and  runs down the back of the leg. This condition is called sciatica. Sciatica refers to the large sciatic nerve that starts in leg painthe low back and goes all the way to the toes. Sciatica usually only effects one leg. There are several conditions that can create pain in this nerve.

Common Causes of sciatica.

The most common way the sciatic nerve becomes painful is pressure put on the sciatic nerve roots where they exit out of the spine in the low back. Pressure may be do to swelling in the connective tissue.


Spondylolythesis is a condition in which the position of the vertebra change and put pressure on a nerve.

Degenerative Joint Disease

Degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis is caused by old traumas and can create a breakdown in the joint space causing pressure on the nerves. 

Herniated Disc

The disc between the vertebrae or bones in the back can develop a blister or bulge which can put pressure on the nerve where it exits the spine.

Piriformis Syndrome

Tight muscles in the gluteal area or (piriformis syndrome) can also irritate the sciatic nerve and cause pain to radiate into the leg.


The position of the baby durring pregnancy can put pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower pelvic area.

There are also some vascular and pathological causes of leg pain that are far less common. It can sometimes be a little tricky to determine what is the source of your leg pain. The good news is that chiropractors are highly trained to make this diagnosis and determine the proper coarse of treatment.

Diagnosing sciatica.

sciatic nerveWhen a patient with sciatica comes into New Life the first thing we do is a thorough consultation to determine what part of the leg is involved, severity and frequency of leg pain, what aggravates, what relieves, when was the onset, ect. These details tell the story and greatly help find the problem. After doing this bit of detective work we do an exam.

The exam is also designed to help isolate your particular sources of pain. We perform a detailed physical, neurological and orthopedic exam as well as x-rays. The inability to raise the leg when lying on your back or that creates shooting pain in the leg is a strong indicator of sciatica.  When the exam is complete we determine the cause and essential treatment for your sciatica ( leg pain). Having seen hundreds of low back and leg pain cases a year for twenty years I believe I truly qualify as an expert.

Treatments for sciatica.

Medical treatment for sciatica.

Medical treatments for sciatica fall under two headings, drugs and surgery. The primary drug therapies for sciatica include muscle relaxers, non steroidal anti inflammatory and steroids. The common side effects of each of these drugs are as follows;

Muscle relaxers

Used to relieve or decrease muscle spasms caused by a pinched nerve.

    • dry mouth
    • blurred vision
    • drowsiness/dizziness
    • stomach pain
    • diarrhea
    • weakness

Non steroidal anti inflammatory

Given to reduce the inflammatory process created by a pinched nerve. Also helps decrease swelling.

    • heartburn
    • ulcers
    • headache/dizziness
    • liver/kidney malfunction
    • high blood pressure


The atomic bomb of anti inflammatorys. Taken to reduce swelling and inflammation. This is the same thing we are treating with ice.

    • salt and fluid retention
    • weight gain
    • insomnia
    • high blood pressure
    • headache
    • weakness
    • nausea/vomiting

Surgery for sciatica

Surgeries for sciatica include lamenectomy and discemtomy or spinal fusion. Both procedures remove parts of the spine and soft tissue in an attempt to relieve pressure from the nerve. These surgeries should only be considered in the most extreme cases. If the symptoms or pain become unbearable or you start to lose motor (muscle) control.

At the consultation we explain what we intend to do to make your pain go away using the bodies natural healing functions.   Non drug or surgical options include chiropractic adjustments, massage, dry needling, exercise and even dietary and herbal remedies. We like to cover all the bases. Schedule today!



Chiropractic treatment for sciatica.

At New Life Chiropractic we attack sciatica from several different directions depending on the cause and the severity of your particular case. Adjustments to relieve nerve pressure are performed in most cases. Intersegmental traction helps in the case of a herniated disc to draw the bulge back in and again reduce nerve pressure. Therapies such as interferential or electronic muscle stimulus as well as dry needling and massage are performed to reduce inflammation and spasm. We also give specific therapies to be done at home such as stretching, icing and exercise designed to relieve pain and improve function. None of the treatments come with negative side effects.

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