Chiropractor for Sciatica in Beaverton, OR

Find the right chiropractor in Beaverton for your sciatica

What is sciatica?

In simple terms, sciatica (pronounced sigh-attica) means pain in the back of the leg. It is not a diagnosis in and of itself, but more of a description of symptoms.

The cause of sciatica could be a number of different things, ranging from lumbar disc herniations, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or just tight muscles in the back of the hip or irritated joints in the low back. 

Sciatica derives its name from the sciatic nerve, the largest and longest nerve in your body.

File:Sciatic nerve.svg“File:Sciatic nerve.svg” by Author: K. D. Schroeder, Vectorization: User:Sumita Roy Dutta is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

It originates from five different nerves that exit the spinal cord in your lower back, then join together in the gluteal area and travel down your leg. Pain is just one manifestation of sciatica.

It can also feel like burning, tingling, or numbness. Any of these symptoms can arise from irritation to the sciatic nerve.

As stated above, there are several things that can bother the sciatic nerve, which range from simple, non-threatening conditions to more serious issues that could result in long-term complications. For this reason, it is important to have your sciatica evaluated by a chiropractor, who are trained as experts in drug-free, non-surgical spine care.

What can a chiropractor do for sciatica?

Chiropractors are specially suited to evaluate this condition and treat the cause using safe, non-invasive techniques. Chiropractic care can help ease pressure on the sciatic nerve, restore proper function to the surrounding joints and soft tissues, and strengthen the spine to prevent future recurrences through the prescription of specific corrective exercises.

Sciatic pain is one of the more common complaints we see at Catalyst Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, and as a chiropractor Dr. Thompson is well-suited to provide a thorough examination to determine the cause of your sciatic pain and the most effective method to treat it.

When you come to our office in Beaverton, OR for sciatica treatment, Dr. Kip Thompson has a 3 step approach to help you:

  • First, determine the cause of your sciatic pain in the initial examination through a proper medical history and examination. He will assess your skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems as well as an analyze how you move to find compensations or muscle imbalances that might be contributing to the issue.
  • Next, he’ll teach you what to avoid in your daily routine to prevent further injury and also what you can do to help treat the condition yourself.
  • Lastly, you’ll be prescribed a personalized treatment plan that will include a combination of in-office treatment and rehabilitative exercises that do not involve fancy equipment and can be performed at home between visits to complement your care at Catalyst.

What are the best treatments for sciatica?

We offer a variety of effective treatments to help you recover as quickly as possible from your sciatica, including: 

  • Chiropractic adjustments (manipulating the spine to improve joint motion, often producing an audible “pop” that chiropractors are most known for)
  • Soft tissue massage from our amazing licensed massage therapists
  • Exercises and stretches to reduce pressure and tension on the sciatic nerve
  • Flexion-distraction – using a specialized treatment table to decompress the spine with traction
  • Electrical muscle stimulation (we like to call it the “electric micro ntmassage”)
  • Cupping
  • Cold laser therapy

Will I need surgery if I have sciatica?

Some cases of sciatica will require surgery. Most of the patients we see in our office don’t end up needing surgery, though. One of the goals of your initial chiropractic exam is to see if you are a good candidate for chiropractic care or if you might be better off seeing a surgeon. 

Most of our sciatica patients do not have any red flags on their exam, meaning it is safe to proceed with treatment without needing immediate imaging, drugs, injections or surgery. 

If after a 2-4 week trial of care your symptoms are not improving or are worsening, Dr. Thompson can order an MRI to further investigate the cause of your sciatica. The MRI will help determine what to do next. 

If the MRI shows significant nerve impingement, then he will likely refer you to a neurosurgeon for consultation, but even then, many of our patients still don’t need surgery. They may respond well to oral steroid medication or injections to reduce the swelling causing their sciatica. These treatments are often prescribed by medical doctors prior to recommending surgery. 

Signs you will likely get better without surgery:

  • Your leg pain does not extend below your knee
  • Your pain is not constant
  • You are not losing feeling in your leg or foot
  • You are not losing muscle strength in your leg or having trouble walking
  • You do not have muscle atrophy, or losing muscle mass in your leg

Signs you may need surgery to relieve your sciatica:

  • Your pain does not improve with pain relievers
  • Your sciatica is not relieved after a regimen of conservative treatments like chiropractic care or physical therapy
  • Your leg pain extends below the knee
  • You have muscle weakness or atrophy
  • You are losing sensation in your leg or foot
  • You have trouble with your bowel or bladder function from the pinched nerves in your back

Should I go to the ER if I have sciatica?

In rare situations you should seek immediate medical care for sciatica.

Seek immediate medical care if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of sensation in your saddle region – inner thighs, genitals, groin.
  • Loss of control of your bladder or bowel movements or inability to empty your bladder.
  • Fever + back pain and/or leg pain

What can I expect on my first visit to the chiropractor?

There are 3 parts to your first visit to the chiropractor 

  1. History: This is what we like to think of as “detective work.” Through asking targeted questions about your current symptoms and other aspects of your life we narrow down the possible causes of your pain. Many of these questions are answered in your intake paperwork prior to your appointment. These can be emailed to you automatically if you schedule online (link to online schedule or we’ll send you a link to them if you schedule over the phone at 503-526-8782.
  2. Examination: After taking a thorough history of your condition, you will receive a comprehensive chiropractic examination. This includes looking at your posture, seeing how your spine and body move in all directions, testing nerve and muscle function, and checking for restricted movement and/or misalignment in the spine and/or extremity joints.
  3. Treatment: After explaining his exam findings to you, Dr. Thompson will recommend a trial of care, which usually consists of 4-6 visits over a period of 2-4 weeks. 

Each visit can include any of combination of the treatments mentioned in the section above, depending on what he feels will be best suited to you and your goals. Treatment typically begins on your first visit, unless additional testing or imaging is required based on your exam findings.

You can read additional details as well as watch Dr. Thompson’s Youtube video on what to expect on your first chiropractic visit:


If you have sciatica, the first step in the recovery process is to find out why it is happening. Contact us today and let’s get started. (503) 526-8782 or schedule online here.

Catalyst Chiropractic | Chiropractor in Beaverton OR
13025 SW Millikan Way STE 120.
Beaverton, OR 97005

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