Do I Have Sciatica?

By: Phil Bechard, DC


A lot of patients in our office arrive complaining of pain in their back and legs. It is hands down the most common reason people call a chiropractor. If it’s big bad levels of ouch and affecting your ability to do your normal life stuff, it’s important to get to the bottom of, well, the pain in your bottom.   

Sciatica is a condition that involves pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back through your hips and buttocks down each leg. Diagnosing sciatica typically involves a combination of medical history and physical examination, and sometimes imaging tests. 

What is difficult is that oftentimes a lower back problem can cause muscles in the leg to tense and guard, and occasionally can cause numbness and tingling, so it can be very similar to sciatica. Attending a consultation with one of our providers will help determine an appropriate diagnosis and plan of care. 

  • Medical History: Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, including the location, nature, and intensity of your pain. They may inquire about any activities or positions that worsen or alleviate the pain.

  • Physical Examination: A physical examination helps your healthcare provider assess your strength, sensation, and reflexes. They may perform specific maneuvers to evaluate for signs of nerve compression or irritation. There are a number of tests that can be done to help more accurately determine what care is most appropriate and what suggestions for home will be the most helpful. 

  • Beyond our capabilities in the office, we may also determine if it’s appropriate to get imaging such as X-ray, MRI, or CT scans. Certain cases may also need a referral to receive EMG or nerve conduction studies. More often than not, your problem can be addressed without advanced medical procedures that cost more money. 

If you suspect you have sciatica or are experiencing symptoms like lower back pain, buttock pain, or leg pain that radiates down one leg, we are here to help you figure out the next step. A thorough evaluation and developing a personalized treatment plan based on your diagnosis is what will help you get back to what needs to get done faster and with less pain.  


Book with Dr. Bechard, DC today by calling 585-445-8584 or online at!

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