Chiropractors see many patients for sciatica; the radiation of lower back pain into the hip and leg. The most common symptoms of sciatica include the increase of leg pain after sitting, difficulty getting up after sitting, and the increase of leg pain with walking.

The recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine investigated 192 patients who had back and leg pain for least four weeks. Half of the patients were given chiropractic adjustments, advice and exercises. The other half were given exercises and advice alone. The basic study ran for 12 weeks, and patients received up to 20 chiropractic adjustments over that time.

These were the results of the study after a 12-week follow-up. Chiropractic patients had less back pain, less disability, better overall improvement, and more satisfaction with their care. A 1-year follow-up revealed that the patients who received chiropractic care maintained their overall improvement and increased satisfaction with their care. There were no serious side-effects due to chiropractic spinal adjustments during the study.

The authors of the study documented that chiropractic and home exercises were “a safe and effective approach to back and leg pain.” The authors also concluded that chiropractic care was better than exercise alone.

What causes sciatica? Sciatica is associated with pinched nerve in the lower back that radiates pain into the leg. Sciatica is usually related to one of the following causes: spinal misalignment, disc degeneration, disc bulges, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis.

What is the best treatment for lower back and leg pain? Your problem is not coming from a deficiency in Tylenol, Aleve, or ibuprofen. Medication may help the pain, but it will not eliminate the pinched nerve.

Epidural spinal shots will not correct the cause of your pain because this painful condition is not related to a cortisone deficiency. After a spinal injection you will walk out of the doctor’s office with the same problem you walked in with. The only difference will be that you now have pain killing drugs injected into your spine.

The most common cause of back and leg pain is bio-mechanical. Nerves get pinched because of spinal misalignment. Physical therapy alone is seldom successful because the underlying problem is not a muscle problem. Chiropractors specialize in spinal adjustments to correct spinal misalignment and faulty biomechanics. Spinal adjustments will help you eliminate the cause of your problem without drugs, painful shots or surgery.

My advice: Find a great chiropractor for your personal health team. The only thing you may have to lose will be the pain you are experiencing.

Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer and chiropractic provider in SaddleBrooke, AZ. For more information on chiropractic, go to

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