As individual bodies age, the nerves and muscles begin to degenerate, especially in the lower spinal region. This can cause sciatic pain and muscle weakness. Elderly sciatica is very common as the nerves and muscles have gone through a lot. Bending, lifting, carrying, reaching, twisting, and natural wearing and tearing make the sciatic nerve and surrounding muscles prone to injury. For overweight seniors, the risk of developing sciatica is higher.

Elderly Sciatica

Elderly Sciatica

The main reason for elderly sciatica is that as the body ages, the discs/cartilage between the vertebrae/bones in the spine dry out, losing their cushioning ability, which can lead to the bones shifting out of place more easily, rubbing against each other, and compressing nerves. On average, the body loses about 1 centimeter in height every ten years after 40.

Risk Factors


  • Diabetes affects the entire body.
  • Not keeping blood sugar in check can cause widespread symptoms that affect the nerves and organs.
  • Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of developing sciatica and other nerve-damaging disorders.


Controllable Risk Factors

Physical Activity

  • Sedentary and highly active lifestyles can cause sciatica.
  • Individuals who are highly sedentary have a greater risk of developing elderly sciatica.
  • Individuals who are highly active and do heavy lifting are also at risk because the activity increases the risk for a back injury.


  • The more overweight an individual is, the more at risk for developing sciatica.
  • The extra weight pushes on the spine and causes it to compress.
  • As the spine compresses, it can rub against the nerves causing irritation or pinch the nerves causing numbness, tingling, stinging, and pain.


  • Menopause can lead to bone loss, causing nerve irritation and nerve damage.
  • If going or have gone through menopause, then it is essential to talk to a doctor about bone loss.
  • Individuals may need to start taking calcium or vitamin D supplements to keep their bones healthy.


  • With chiropractic, elderly individuals can attain better quality sleep, improved mood, and increased energy levels.
  • A chiropractic physical therapy team can develop a specialized/customized treatment plan for preventive and palliative care.

Body Composition


Sarcopenia affects the elderly population’s mortality, cognitive function, and quality of life. As the elderly population is living longer, preservation of lean mass becomes an integral part of maintaining an individual’s independence. Loss of muscle in the arms and legs is linked to decreased mobility, increased risk of falls, and prolonged hospital stays. Falls and fractures often result in a cycle of muscle deterioration. InBody can help track body composition changes and help to minimize muscle wasting and risk of impaired mobility.


Aggarwal, Sameer, and Nityanand. “Calcium and vitamin D in postmenopausal women.” Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism vol. 17,Suppl 3 (2013): S618-20. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.123549

Dougherty, Paul E et al. “The role of chiropractic care in older adults.” Chiropractic & manual therapies vol. 20,1 3. 21 Feb. 2012, doi:10.1186/2045-709X-20-3

Ferreira, Manuela L, and Andrew McLachlan. “The Challenges of Treating Sciatica Pain in Older Adults.” Drugs & aging vol. 33,11 (2016): 779-785. doi:10.1007/s40266-016-0404-z

Kherad, Mehrsa et al. “Risk factors for low back pain and sciatica in elderly men-the MrOS Sweden study.” Age and aging vol. 46,1 (2017): 64-71. doi:10.1093/ageing/afw152

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Elderly Sciatica" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.