The largest nerves of the body.
Each of the two sciatic nerves is
formed by four or five nerves
branching off each side of the
spinal cord and running down
the back of each leg.
Sciatica is a severe pain in the leg caused from compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerves are the largest (and longest) nerves of the body, reaching about the size of your thumb in diameter, and running down the back of each leg. When these nerves are irritated or affected by the inflammation of nearby soft tissues, doctors refer to this as sciatica.
One of the most common causes of sciatic leg pain is the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. It can be associated with the bulging or herniation of the soft, pulpy discs which separate each spinal bone. This can irritate or put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord. The result can be an intense pain shooting down either or both legs.
In the past, treatment has involved pain medications, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and even surgery. The chiropractic approach is to use carefully directed and controlled pressure to remove the interference from spinal structures. These chiropractic "adjustments" can be very effective in reducing nerve irritation and its associated pain.