What is Sciatica?

Fun fact: sciatica is not an injury, disease, or diagnosis! Instead, sciatica is a symptom that describes radiating nerve pain felt due to irritation of the sciatic nerve or a component of it.

Sciatica is a symptom that can be caused by many different conditions, ranging in severity from inflammation to tumors that can occur anywhere from L4 down the sciatic nerve. There are many causes of sciatic pain, but sciatic pain is typically from a herniated disc, bulging disc, or a slipped disc at the L4/L5 region. When the sciatic nerve is pinched it can cause leg pain, numbness, and pain as far down as your feet. Click here to learn more about what to do when sciatica pain becomes unbearable.

Sciatica pain relief is possible with the right combination of treatments for your particular cause of sciatic pain – a proper diagnosis is critical to achieving a fast recovery. Here are common questions we ask in the clinic to better understand your sciatica and how it behaves:

  • The mechanism of injury (how your symptoms came on)?
  • How long have you had your condition?
  • What aggravates your symptoms?
  • What relieves or reduces your symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms worse at a certain time of day?
  • Type of pain (sharp, ache, burning, etc)?
  • Do your symptoms radiate, change, or travel?

We do suggest having an assessment for sciatica before attempting any exercises. Before starting, it is important to understand the concept of centralization and peripheralization in dealing with sciatica and nerve pain. Here is a video we send to our patients to help educate them on this topic:


The best exercise for sciatica relief!

Once you understand centralization and peripheralization you are cleared to try one of our go-to exercises for sciatica – extension in lying! Start with your arms to the side like you’re going to do a push-up. Press up to the top of the motion, and exhale to allow the low back to relax and sink more. Please perform a set of 10. It is paramount that you watch the video above. If your symptoms peripheralize at all – you must stop and contact a professional. If they don’t you can take a quick break, and continue reps.


Exercises for Sciatica | Upstate Spine & Sport

Although this is one of our favorites, we do not have a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to sciatica treatment in Greenville SC. This is not medical advice – if you have questions about sciatica please contact Upstate Spine & Sport. It is the most common condition we treat at our clinic. We can help.

Chiropractic Services


Pelvic Floor Therapy

Massage Therapy

Fascial Stretching