Sciatica Specialist

Dr. Katie Thompson, D.C. -  - Chiropractor

The Health Improvement Center

Dr. Katie Thompson, D.C.

Chiropractor & Nutritionist located in Vienna, VA

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, and it controls the muscles in the back of your knees and lower legs. Sciatica occurs when you have pain or weakness starting in your lower back and extending down one of your legs. To alleviate your pain, Dr. Katie Thompson uses a gentle adjusting technique that restores your nerve's functionality. Call or make an appointment online today at The Health Improvement Center in Vienna, Virginia, to receive her “whole patient” chiropractic care.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom of a pinched nerve that could be caused by:

  • A herniated disc placing pressure on a nerve root: This is the most common cause of sciatica.
  • The slippage of one of your vertebra, causing it to be out of line with the one above it. This causes a narrowing of the opening that your nerve exits through.
  • Spinal stenosis: Your spinal canal narrows and places pressure on your nerves.


Sciatica presents as pain radiating along the path of the sciatic nerve on one side. Your sciatic nerve branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down your legs. You feel a shooting pain that makes standing or sitting nearly impossible, and it worsens when you sneeze or cough.

How is sciatica diagnosed?

When you see Dr. Thompson for sciatica, she reviews your medical history and symptoms. She also performs a physical exam that includes having you do activities that increase the sciatica pain while also checking your muscle strength and reflexes. These include:

  • Toe walking
  • Heel walking
  • Getting up from a squatting position
  • A straight-leg-raise test (lifting your legs one at a time while you lie on your back)

How is sciatica treated?

Dr. Thompson uses gentle adjusting techniques to reduce sciatica pain. These include:

ImpulseĀ® Adjusting Technique

Dr. Thompson uses a small, handheld, spring-loaded instrument to deliver gentle impulse force to your spine. The Impulse Adjusting Technique helps restore motion to the targeted spinal vertebra.

TTAPS Technique

Dr. Thompson uses a tapping movement that uses your sensory nerve terminals to free you from pain.

Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology helps Dr. Thompson evaluate your body through the dynamics of your musculoskeletal system using specific muscle weakness signals to determine the cause of internal problems.

Dr. Thompson also recommends:

  • Cold packs
  • Hot packs
  • Exercises to correct your posture, strengthen your back, and improve your flexibility
  • Stretching to help relieve nerve root compression


For relief from sciatica pain, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Thompson at The Health Improvement Center.