Sciatica – a real pain in the Butt!


Most of us have had back trouble of some kind or another, whether it is mild discomfort or terrible pain that knocks you off your feet.  However with sciatica you will likely know right away that something is different.

One of the telltale signs of sciatica is pain that starts in your low back and shoots down one leg, sometimes all the way into your foot. Sciatica is triggered when something puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, this runs from your low back down to your legs and feet.  So other symptoms of nerve damage are usually present with the pain and may include:-

  • Pain that gets worse with movement
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs and feet
  • Pins and needles

What causes it?  It can happen with an injury or just plain wear and tear but other causes include:

Herniated disc or slipped disc

This is the most common cause of sciatica.  The vertebrae or spinal bones are separated by pieces of cartilage.  Cartilage is filled with a thick, clear material to ensure flexibility and cushioning whilst you move around.  Herniated discs occur when the first layer of  cartilage rips.

The substance inside can compress the sciatic nerve, resulting in lower limb pain and numbness.

Spinal stenosis

This is a narrowing of the part of your spine where the nerves pass through.


This is when one of the vertebra in your spine extends forward over another.  The extended vertebra can pinch the sciatic nerve.


During pregnancy, sciatica can arise if the growing uterus and fetus put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing inflammation, irritation and pain.

The good news is that mild sciatica usually responds well to over the counter pain killers and hot and cold packs.  Having said that if your back pain lasts for  more than a few days or gets worse, then it is time to call your Chiropractor.

Your Chiropractic Clinic is a great place to start when you have sciatica-like shooting pain or associated symptoms such as leg or foot numbness, tingling or weakness.

In addition to saving you time, a visit to your Chiropractor may also decrease your reliance on painkillers!

Should you require any further information or would like to speak to a member of our team, please contact us on Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 508873, alternatively e-mail us on or

Peter Heale Chiropractor in Hitchin and LutonFrom the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

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