Sciatica (Leg Pain)

What is Sciatica?


Sciatica is the name given to pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Anything that irritates this nerve can cause pain, ranging from mild to severe. Sciatica is usually caused by a compressed nerve in the lower spine.


What is the Sciatic Nerve?


The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back and splits to run through your hips, buttocks, legs, and feet on both sides. Bone spurs and spinal stenosis (narrowing) can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. 


What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica results from irritation of the root(s) of your lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.


Additional common causes of sciatica:

  • Spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one)

  • Pregnancy

  • Muscle spasm in the back or buttocks

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in your lower back)

  • Degenerative disk disease (breakdown of disks, which act as cushions between the vertebrae)

Other things to keep an eye on that make you more likely to have sciatica include:

  • Sleeping on a mattress that is too hard or too soft

  • Smoking

  • Not exercising regularly

  • Wearing high heels

  • Aging (which can cause changes in the spine, like bone spurs or herniated disks)

  • Diabetes

  • Being overweight

  • Your job, in particular if it involves carrying heavy things, driving for long periods of time, twisting your back or even prolonged sitting.  


What Does Sciatica Feel Like? How Do I Know If I Have Sciatica?

Sciatic pain can vary widely. It may feel like a burning sensation, dull ache, or mild tingling. The pain can be described as a shooting electrical pain or a sharp pain in the buttocks and down the leg even while resting. Often times the pain will shoot down the leg into the foot and have accompanied numbness and tingling in the leg and foot. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move.


The pain most often occurs on one side. Some people have sharp pain in one part of the leg or hip and numbness in other parts. The sensations may also be felt on the back of the calf or on the sole of the foot. The affected leg may feel weak.


It is always important to consult a qualified physician to determine the cause and best course of action for your sciatica. The physycian will determine the exact cause of the sciatica and have the tools necessary to treat the underlying cause and not the symptoms.

What are My Options for the Treatment of Sciatica?

Your doctor may prescribe different therapies depending on the cause of sciatica. Your doctor might recommend putting cold packs on your lower back for a couple of days and then switching to hot packs for a few days after that. There are also lots of good stretches for lower-back and sciatic pain relief and that should be enough to allow the pain and inflammation associated with sciatica to self resolve. If pain persists longer than a week or two then your doctor may recommend spinal decompression therapy.


How Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Help Sciatica?

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy slowly decompresses and lengthens the spine, creating negative pressures within the discs. This reversal of pressure creates a vacuum inside the discs that will help to reposition bulging discs and draw extruded disc material back into place, taking pressure off pinched nerves. Spinal experts believe that nutrients, oxygen, and fluids are drawn into the disc to create a revitalized environment conducive to healing.


What Are The Treatments Like?

The treatment process is very safe and relaxing.

At the beginning of each session, you will be comfortably fitted with a harness designed to achieve optimal decompression of the low back or neck. Each treatment session of spinal decompression lasts approximately 30 minutes. During a session therapy you will notice a slow lengthen of your spine as your discs are gradually decompressed and relieved of pressure. A patient safety switch give you an extra safety feature, as you can stop at any point should you feel discomfort. 


What Is The Typical Treatment Protocol?

A typical spinal decompression therapy treatment protocol consists of about 12-20 sessions over four to six weeks as the treatment will be designed to you. Some conditions require fewer visits; some require more. Many patients report relief from their pain and other symptoms during the first few treatment sessions, and most experience dramatic pain relief after completion of their prescribed treatment program.

Why Is Spinal Decompression Thereapy Different from Traction, Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Manipulation?

While traction, physical therapy, and manipulation may reduce disc pressures to as low as 40 mmHg, only spinal decompression therapy has been shown to achieve negative pressures within the spine. It has been clinically proven that spinal decompression therapy creates negative pressures as low as  -110 mmHg within the injured disc during the treatment session. Normally, pulls exerted on the spine trigger sensory receptors in the back to tighten the muscles surrounding the vertebrae and discs in an effort to protect them from injury. Spinal Decompression Therapy bypasses this response as it slowly pulls the spine and relaxes the back over an extended period of time, allowing the discs to be repositioned without tension and without causing spasm and muscle guarding. It is important for patients to make sure that they are treated on a high quality true spinal decompression table by a physician with years of experience and not an imitation spinal decompression table.


Did research showed up to 88.9% success rate for spinal decompression therapy?

Yes it is! More than 10 research articles have shown success rates for spinal decompression therapy to be up to 88.9%. In fact this statistics have been stated even for more than a decade. John Leslie M.D. and the Mayo Clinic reported at the 18th Annual Meeting American Academy of Pain Management in Tampa Florida on September 5, 2007 the following amazing statistics:

Multi-center, phase II, non-randomized pilot study utilizing spinal decompression therapy.
Designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of spinal decompression therapy in the treatment of chronic lower back pain.
Patients enrolled have an average of ten years of chronic back pain.
After two weeks of treatments of spinal decompression – 50% reduction in pain scores.
Upon completion of the entire six week protocol success rate of 88.9% was documented.

Is it true that professional athletes, celebrities and patients in their 90’s have turned to Spinal Decompression Therapy and Cold Laser Therapy as a successful, non-surgical option to neck and back pain without the use of drugs, pills and surgery?

Yes! Celebrities, professional athletes and even patients in their 90’s are turning to spinal decompression therapy and cold laser therapy as an affordable, non-surgical alternative to neck and back pain without the use of drugs, pills and surgery.


there has been a trend in recent years for people getting tired of taking pills that simply mask the pain and can cause all kinds of serious side effects. People are frustrated with getting shots that work the first time or two and then eventually have minimal or no effect. And one thing that never changes, is that people are scared of surgery. They have seen firsthand their friends and relatives who spent 1,000’s of dollars, having weeks of “down time”, have scars, and risked serious side effects and still ended up with a “failed back surgery syndrome”. New non-surgical spinal decompression therapy is not only effective and affordable but is also non-invasive and safe!

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Clarke JA, van Tulder MW, Blomberg SE, et al. Traction for low-back pain with or without sciatica. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;(2):CD003010.

Chou R, Qaseem A, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(7):478-491.

 *Individual patient results may vary.