5564 Little Debbie Pkwy, Suite 108, Collegedale, TN 37363

Is Sciatica to Blame for Lower Back and Leg Pain?

Have you tried everything you know to treat your lower back and leg pain?

Are you still in pain?

It may be because you’ve been missing the root cause.

In general an estimated 5%-10% of patients with low back pain have sciatica, with over 3 million cases each year in the U.S. alone!

So, what is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an inter-vertebral disc, a disc herniation/bulge, or spinal joint misalignment.

… say what?

Let’s unpack that a little more.

All along your spine are nerves roots that attach to different organs and muscles throughout the entire body.

(See the diagram for reference.)

When our spines curve unnaturally to one side or get out of alignment (known as a subluxation), or even when a disc in our spine starts to degenerate, the nerve roots at that location become compressed.

This can result in a loss of proper blood flow to the correlating organs and a subsequent decrease of function.

(To learn more about how the spine affects each organ in the body click here. And to learn more about disc herniation and bulges click here.)

In regards to sciatica specifically, the most common compressed nerve root location is in the lower back.

To be more specific, the most common cause of sciatica is an over contraction of our piriformis muscle.

This muscle starts at our tailbone, the sacrum, and attaches itself onto the femur.

The sciatic nerve can run underneath, through, or on top of the piriformis muscle.

When the piriformis muscle becomes inflamed, either from sitting too long most of the time, or from an injury or joint misalignment, it will compress and irritate the sciatic nerve creating sciatica.

When the piriformis muscle is causing the sciatica it is called, piriformis syndrome. 

So what can I do to get relief?

There are multiple stretches for piriformis syndrome but the easiest one to do at home or at work is the sitting piriformis stretch. 

  • Find a stable non rolling chair, then sit at the edge of the chair.
  • Raise and cross the leg which is experiencing the sciatic nerve pain and place the ankle on the opposite knee.
  • For example, if your experiencing left sciatica symptoms, cross the left leg and place your left ankle on your right knee.
  • Next, sit up straight and bend your body over your hips while keeping your back as straight as possible. You should feel a good stretch on the hip and buttocks region on the side you are stretching.
  • Hold that stretch for 30 seconds then switch and perform it on the other side.
  • Do this for a total of three times on each side. 

What can I do to fix the root problem?

There are many more stretches that can be done to help achieve temporary relief of sciatica pain.

However, none of these stretches are going to fix the root cause.

But chiropractic care can!

If you have looked into common treatments for sciatic pain, you’ve no doubt seen that prescription medication and even surgery are typically advised.

But there has to be a better way.

And there is!

Chiropractic care is a great, holistic way to both treat your current sciatica pain and can help prevent it from spreading in the future.

Chiropractic adjustments treat the causes rather than just the symptoms of your pain.

Adjustments work to put the vertebra in your spine back into alignment, taking pressure off the nerve and reducing the un-even load on the disc and vertebrae, allowing the body to repair itself.

I have treated many patients with these symptoms and have seen fantastic results!

If you’re ready to make a change to the health of your spine and start feeling better, click the link below to schedule an appointment and learn more!

Give us a call at (423)-498-3400 today to see how chiropractic care can help you too!

Or click below to schedule your first appointment!


Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.


Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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