Dr. Douglass Toth
1223 College Ave, Suite 100
Santa Rosa, CA



Sciatica refers to pain related to the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve originates in the low back and then passes thru the buttocks down the back of the leg.  Pain involving the sciatic nerve can be felt in the buttocks area, down the back of the leg or even in the foot.  However, the sciatic nerve can also cause other symptoms of numbness, tingling, weakness, muscle cramping, burning or changes in reflexes of the lower extremity.  There are several common causes of sciatic pain or other sciatic nerve related conditions:

  • Misalignment
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Stenosis
  • Disc Herniation
  • Scoliosis
  • Spondylolisthesis


Sciatica can be a minor nuisance or it can be a debilitating condition that takes over your life.  Chiropractic treatment aims to take the pressure off the sciatic nerve with a series of hands on adjustments, tissue therapies, home exercises and lifestyle modifications.  The rate you progress depends on many factors including the cause of the sciatic pain, the severity of the problem, how long its been there and the patients ability to follow recommendations.

Related Conditions

This pain is different than pain in the SI joint which can also be felt in the buttocks area but may also be felt in the low back.  There are two SI joints on either side of the sacrum where the sacrum and the ilium (or pelvis) join to meet and they can mimic sciatic pain when aggravated or out of alignment.  Other conditions that can present like sciatica could be hip joint bursitis, pulled hamstring, and pain in the coccyx.


Can chiropractors help with sciatica?

Yes. Chiropractors use spinal manipulations to allow a herniated disc to rest back into position, taking the pressure off of the sciatic nerve. The adjustments can also restore the natural alignment of vertebral discs.

Many chiropractors also use heat and cold therapies, spinal decompressions, and exercises to relieve pain. Your chiropractor may also recommend lifestyle changes to manage your condition.

Should I see a doctor or chiropractor for sciatica?

Both chiropractors and physical therapists treat people with sciatica. If you see a primary doctor, they may refer you to a specialist (a chiropractor, a neurologist, or a physician specializing in the nervous system).

How many chiropractors treat sciatica?

Most chiropractors treat people with sciatica. A reputable chiropractor has their patient’s best interest at heart. An experienced professional knows there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating sciatica. They consider all factors at play, including age, gender, and medical history, when developing a treatment plan for their patients.

Is physical therapy or chiropractor better for sciatica?

Both chiropractic care and physical therapy are effective in treating sciatica. While a physical therapist primarily uses exercises to treat sciatica, a chiropractor uses spinal manipulation to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Though the techniques used may differ, the goal of chiropractic treatment and physical therapy is the same – to relieve sciatica symptoms and restore pain-free movement patterns.

Can a chiropractor help with nerve pain?

Yes. A chiropractor applies gentle pressure on the affected area to reduce pain nerve, relieve tension, and fast-track recovery.

Can a chiropractor help a pinched sciatic nerve?

Yes. A chiropractor uses spinal manipulations to push back a herniated disc into its original position, helping relieve pressure on the pinched nerve,

How do you permanently cure sciatica?

Chiropractors use combination therapy (using two or more therapies, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, and hot & cold therapy) to treat sciatica permanently. Your chiropractor may also recommend certain exercises to improve strength and flexibility.

What is best for sciatica osteopath or chiropractic?

Both osteopaths and chiropractors can treat sciatica effectively.

How long does it take for a chiropractor to fix sciatica?

Most patients report relief from sciatica pain and symptoms after the first few sessions. On average, patients need 12 sessions in 29 days.

Do doctors recommend chiropractors?

Yes. Many doctors around the country suggest trying chiropractic care.