Sciatica is a radiculopathy, which is irritation of the nerve as it exits the spine and is typically caused by compression/pinching along the nerve’s path. Most sciatica cases improve within a few weeks of the injury incident. Left untreated, it can become chronic sciatica and can have long-term repercussions and effects. A herniated disc is the most common cause if it bulges next to the nerve; it can pinch off the nerve or leak fluid onto the nerve, causing inflammation, swelling, pain, numbness, and weakness. Another common cause is spinal stenosis. As the body ages, the canal through which the nerve and spinal cord run can begin to narrow, placing pressure on the nerves. Then there are muscle spasms, spinal fractures, and spinal cancer. Anything that changes the curvature of the spine, including pregnancy, can cause sciatica.

Repercussions Long Term Sciatica

Repercussions From Sciatica

The repercussions can vary or be a combination that includes:

Chronic Pain

The pain can be anywhere along the nerve; typically, it travels from the lower spine through the buttocks, down the back of the leg, and into the foot.

  • The condition can cause various types of pain: Burning, electrical, or shooting pain in the low back.
  • Symptoms can come and go and may present only when sitting, standing, lying, or engaged in a particular activity.
  • The severity of the pain can vary from mild to severe, mildly uncomfortable, to limiting function.

Posture Problems

  • When the body experiences chronic pain in a localized area, the body’s natural reaction is to avoid placing pressure, twisting or bending, or using a specific body part, manipulating healthy posture or walking gait to protect the low back or legs from pain.
  • This is referred to as muscle/posture guarding, which removes pressure from the site but alters the body’s natural alignment, affecting the spine’s characteristics and causing adverse side effects, like upper back and neck pain, headaches, and fatigue.
  • Unhealthy and awkward postures can negatively affect digestion, organ function, and breathing.

Loss of Balance

  • Sciatica commonly causes numbness and tingling in the leg, calf, foot, and toes.
  • The hidden danger behind numbness; it alters the body’s proprioception or awareness of its position.
  • When proprioception becomes inhibited or altered, communication signals from the body to the brain/vice versa get jumbled/interrupted, confusing the brain, throwing the body off balance.
  • This can result in falling injuries.

Numbness or Weakness

  • Sciatica is more problematic if the pain comes with neurological symptoms like numbness, muscle, or leg weakness.
  • This means there is an increased level of possible nerve damage if muscular weakness, which requires aggressive treatment.

Declining Reflexes

  • Depending on where the nerve is compressed, pain and numbness can affect the lower leg area and feet.
  • Damage to the nerve can cause the inability to flex the foot up.
  • The knee-jerk reflex, known as the patellar reflex, is the kicking motion of the lower leg when tapped on the patellar tendon.
  • Sciatica can numb the area, causing a delayed reaction or severe unresponsiveness to stimulation.

Permanent Nerve Damage

  • If left untreated, neurological symptoms like numbness and leg weakness can progress to permanent nerve damage.
  • However, this happens rarely but explains the importance of taking the injury seriously so full recovery is achievable.

Non-Surgical Sciatica Relief

Spinal Decompression Effective Long-Term Solution


Berry, James A et al. “A Review of Lumbar Radiculopathy, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” Cureus vol. 11,10 e5934. Oct 17 2019, doi:10.7759/cureus.5934

Davis D, Maini K, Vasudevan A. Sciatica. [Updated 2022 Feb 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

Giuffre BA, Jeanmonod R. Anatomy, Sciatic Nerve. [Updated 2021 Jul 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

Nori, Subhadra L. and Michael F. Stretanski. “Foot Drop.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, Dec 15, 2021.

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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.