Your body contains approximately 45 miles of nerves. The largest of these is the sciatic nerve, which is about as wide as a penny at its thickest point. It begins at the base of your spine, runs down your pelvis and buttocks, and continues down the back of your thigh. (To be sure, you have two sciatic nerves: one per leg.)


No nerve is unimportant, although the sciatic nerve ranks right up there. Without it, you could neither feel nor move your leg. Despite this, most people never give a thought to their sciatic nerve – until it starts bothering them.


What Is Sciatica?


“Sciatica” is something of a catch-all term. It refers to any pain that affects the sciatic nerve. In addition to pain, symptoms normally include:


  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Incontinence (in severe cases)
  • Paresthesia (i.e. tingling, or a “pins and needles” sensation)


Sciatica typically results when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, inflamed, irritated, or otherwise impacted by spinal malfunction. The most common causes of sciatica are:



Sciatica is common. Two out of four people will experience it at some point during their lifetimes. You are at heightened risk of the condition if you are over the age of 20, obese, or living with diabetes. Sciatica is also more likely to affect people who regularly sit for extended periods of time, as well as those who perform manual labor (which puts them at higher risk of herniated disc).


How Do You Treat Sciatica?


Surgery is a common treatment for sciatica, and may be necessary when the condition is caused by a large bone spur. Over-the-counter and prescription pain medications are popular as well. Neither of these interventions are desirable to most people, however. Surgery is … well, surgery, which most people would rather do anything to avoid. Drugs, which have a wide range of side effects and can lead to addiction, are also best avoided to the greatest extent possible.


Fortunately, if you have sciatica, you have a nonsurgical and nonpharmacological treatment option: chiropractic care. It’s demonstrably effective at relieving sciatica pain, and its wide range of treatments means that a chiropractor has multiple tools to address the root cause of your discomfort.


Let’s review a few of the ways chiropractic can treat sciatica!


  • Dry needling – A treatment which releases tense muscle tissue, which in turn relieves the pressure that is impacting sciatic nerve functionality. Dry needling has been repeatedly shown to increase mobility, accelerate healing, and provide immediate relief from sciatic pain.


  • Cold laser therapy – When it is directed at soft tissues surrounding the sciatic nerve, low-level laser therapy stimulates increased production of natural substances which reduce inflammation, induce regeneration, and increase blood circulation. It’s a proven method for relieving pain and restoring mobility in sciatica patients.


  • Graston Technique – Practitioners of this form of manual therapy utilize a set of six specialized instruments to break down myofascial adhesions in the musculoskeletal system. The Graston Technique is remarkably effective at treating the root causes of sciatica, and may fully eliminate discomfort after only one session.


  • Electrical muscle stimulation – Also known as E-stim, this technique directs very weak electrical current to the sciatic nerve and surrounding muscles. Independent studies have confirmed that E-stim directly accelerates healing in damaged sciatic nerve tissue, and also restores strength to the patient’s lower body.


Are you suffering from sciatica? Then we welcome you to contact Fargo Spine today. Our chiropractors in Fargo, ND have helped countless people fully recover from the painful condition – without drugs, surgery, or additional discomfort.