Confused with what is going on with your leg. Are you experiencing severe leg pain? Do you think it is sciatica pain? It is a common in the Gwynedd, Conwy and Anglesey areas to hear people complaining about their sciatica pain or worrying if they have sciatica. So what is sciatica and what can you do for sciatica pain relief? How do you even spell it sciatic, siactica? Well it is sciatica and lots of patients who attend  The North Wales Spine Clinic with low back pain and/or leg pain ask if they have it and if we can help them with sciatica treatment. So it is important to find out before you can achieve sciatica pain relief what is sciatica, sciatica symptoms and a sciatica diagnosis, what you can do for sciatica treatment and what are sciatica pain relief exercise tips.

Note: No matter how old you are if you think you have sciatica pain and symptoms don’t wait for the pain to potentially get worse, for sciatic pain relief in the Gwynedd, Conwy and Anglesey areas call The North Wales Spine Clinic on 01492 621380 and see our highly experienced registered Chiropractor.

What is Sciatica

Sciatica is not a diagnosis but a symptom of a trapped nerve, pinched nerve or most commonly a chemically irritated nerve. The nerve that is affected can be one of five nerve roots from the spine or the whole sciatic nerve along its pathway. The sciatic nerve is usually affected because of a lumbar disc herniation, or it can be from osteo-arthritis (spondylosis) in the spine, a muscle spasm due to piriformis syndrome or sacro-iliac joint dysfunction. The pain that runs down the back of the leg sometimes going below the knee to the calf is typically referred to as sciatica pain. This is because the pain runs down the same pathway that the sciatic nerve supplies in the leg. So pain in the leg can be sciatica OR not. This is where we perform orthopaedic and neurological tests to confirm the source of your leg pain.

Symptoms of Sciatica

The major sciatica symptom would be pain. Again, the pain would be in the same path as where the sciatic nerve supplies. Some other reasons for you to think you may have sciatica would be these sciatica symptoms:

  • Pain in the buttock usually only one side
  • Pain down the back of your thigh
  • Pain in the calf
  • Pins and needles in your feet or toes
  • Numb feeling in the sole of your foot
  • Limp with walking
  • Lower back Pain

How to Confirm a Diagnosis of Sciatica

At The North Wales Spine Clinic we have the advantage of an experienced Chiropractor who has successfully treated Sciatic pain on numerous occasions. Our Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey Chiropractor will be able to tell you after thorough questioning and a physical examination, including orthopaedic and neurological testing, whether or not your pain is a true sciatica pain. It is important as not all leg pain is from the sciatic nerve being affected.

X-rays of your lower back or leg will not confirm sciatica and are not usually required for unless the North Wales Chiropractor feels there is a reason for an x-ray for your pain. X-rays show what is happening at the bone and not the nerve tissue. An magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scan is also not usually an immediate necessity to diagnosis you with sciatica. This is because MRI scans are usually used when needing a surgical evaluation or worries for delayed sciatica relief or unusually concern for the cause of pain.

Sciatica Treatment

Remember that sciatica is a symptom not a diagnosis. So only once you have being diagnosed with what is causing your sciatica nerve pain you will find out what sciatica treatment options you have. We will be able to tell you if there is a muscle or joint causing your sciatic nerve pain. Treatment can vary according to what again is causing your pain so speak to us first before trying the self-treatment sciatica pain relief tips below.

Sciatica Pain Relief

Here are some basic sciatica pain relief tips that may help you, but see us first!


Using a protected soft cold pack for 20-30min on your lower back along the belt line area can relax the pain and swelling as the nerve exits the spine. Don’t let the cold pack touch your skin directly. Maybe try a bag of peas or one of those blue jelly packs we have at The North Wales Spine Clinic.

Diaphragm Breathing

Trying to breath from your ‘stomach’ or diaphragm muscle is better than stressed breathing from your chest. So when you breathe IN PUSH you stomach OUT & when you breathe OUT PULL your stomach IN.


Co-contraction is when you gently tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles together. Before moving like bending or getting up from a seat try gently tighten your abdominal muscle PULLING IN you BELLY BUTTON then try SQUEEZE your buttock muscle TOGETHER. This will try to protect your lower back spine from moving abnormally.

Sleep Positions

Sleep is important to help healing but is very difficult with leg pain and sciatica. Some of the sciatica sleep positions are FLAT on your back with a pillow under your knees to create a slight bend. Lay on the most comfortable side with pillow or duvet between your knees. Also on your side try moving your knees toward your chest or straighten your legs till comfortable.

Lumbar Chair Cushion

The lower back has a natural arch called a lordosis. You can support the lumbar lordosis through cushions or pillows. So support you lower back arch whilst sitting on the sofa, work chair and car seat.

Lumbar Belt Support

Using an elasticated belt to support your lower back can help some people, but is not usually recommended as it creates a psychological dependence on it.

Keep Hydrated

Make sure you are drinking enough daily fluids like water because dehydration will lower your healing ability.

Pain Killers

Your GP will be able to provide you with these or you can speak to a pharmacist for a basic over the counter pain relief medication for you sciatica. So speak to your GP or pharmacist for pain relief medication.

Avoid Heavy Stretching

Trying to stretch the leg pain out of your leg could be stressing the affected nerve more. The nerve is like a rope trapped at the spine. Any stretching must be gentle and controlled so not to stress the nerve further.

Sciatica Relief Conclusion

So these are some basic irritated nerve leg pain and sciatica pain relief tips the relief pain tips are not exhaustive but they compromise of some of the sciatic pain relief tips we give to our patients who see our Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey Chiropractor. However it might help guide you to getting some leg pain relief and sciatica pain relief, hopefully soon. If the pain continues call The North Wales Spine Clinic on 01492 621380.