Sciatic Nerve Impingement Causing Sciatica

What is sciatica and how does it happen?

Sciatica is a condition in which pain may radiate from your lower back into your leg and foot. It can happen because the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or stretched by the spinal disc or tightened muscles.

Sciatica often occurs as the result of some “pinching” of the sciatic nerve in the low back.  Some common actions that could predispose a person to sciatica are excessive movements such as bending forward, lifting heavy objects, or bending and twisting in the low back.

These actions are often performed by specific sports or occupations, which increases the possibilities of sciatic occurring.  Golfers, weight lifters, construction workers, and concrete workers are more susceptible to these injuries.

Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve within a few weeks with non-operative approaches. However, severe sciatica that causes leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes might be appropriate for surgery.

What causes sciatic nerve impingement?

The actual cause of sciatic nerve impingement is not fully understood but can be attributed to multiple factors. Below is a list of the most common factors associated with sciatica.

  • Age-related degeneration of the vertebral column
  • Physical injury in the back area
  • Stress
  • Natural defect of the spinal curvature from birth
  • High-intensity workouts
  • Improper posture when exercising or lifting
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Childbirth
  • Breastfeeding


Pain stemming from your lower back and extending to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might experience this discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it is especially likely to follow a path from your lower back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.

The symptoms of sciatica are not always easy to distinguish.

Common symptoms of sciatica are the following:

  •  Numbness or weakness in your lower back
  • Neurological weakness or Numbness in the lower spine
  • Leg pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control 
  • Pain that limits movement and only occurs when moving
  • In some cases, tumors, blood clots, and other conditions in the lower spine may also cause sciatica.


It is not always possible to prevent sciatica. However, some lifestyle modifications can help reduce a person's risk.

  1. Be cautious when sitting for long periods, even if you're resting or sleeping on a couch. Try moving around every hour or so. Stand up and stretch your legs out straight behind yourself while simultaneously reaching back toward where they would be against furniture. 
  2. Feather-lite ball chairs can help by providing more lumbar support than traditional swings - use them instead to avoid sciatica.
  3. Avoid positions that place stress across both knees at once 
  4. Wear comfortable shoes.
  5. Remain active every day.
  6. Maintain good posture.
  7. Get regular checkups.

In general, having a solid core and doing regular exercise may both help prevent sciatica. Additionally, maintaining a good posture while sitting and standing can reduce the risk of getting sciatica because it will result in people using their bodies better.


There are many different options for treating sciatica. For example, treatment might include rest, chiropractic treatment or stretching to help you recover from your illness and live an active lifestyle again. Only in the most severe cases are more aggressive procedures, like surgery, required.

With the variety and complexity of treatments for sciatica, it is difficult to know which option will work best with your needs. Chiropractic treatment for sciatica is often a smart first approach.  Chiropractic care is a non-surgical approach to resolving sciatica pain.

Chiropractic treatment often includes manual adjustments to the affected joints to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.  Additionally, stretching and strengthening may be included in the treatment plan.

The best way of finding out what will work is by speaking with our chiropractor at Belden Village Chiropractic & Wellness Center who can assess any injuries and provide more personalized advice on individual needs.

If you have sciatica or back pain, take this remedy and you'll never suffer again!


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