Leg and foot pain or numbness can be the result of several possible sources. Most commonly it is due to bulging, herniated, or degenerative discs putting pressure on or irritating nerve roots that feed into the sciatic nerve. It can also be due to misalignment and/or abnormal motion of the vertebrae (too much or too little), or tight unbalanced muscles. And of course injury to any of the tissues in the lower back (discs, muscles, tendons, or ligaments), such as after lifting something too heavy or with poor mechanics, can be the source of the problem as well. Often it is a combination of several of these factors.
My approach is to restore normal alignment, motion, and muscle balance, strength, and function through a combination of treatment approaches. Usually these include manual joint manipulation or mobilization (the stereotypical chiropractic “adjustment”), various types of soft tissue/massage work, stretches, exercises, and various modalities... Such as cold laser, ultrasound, or electric muscle stimulation.
If the leg pain or numbness is due mostly to alignment or motion issues, improvement is usually noticed quickly, and progress is steady. Herniated, bulging, or degenerative discs on the other hand, usually take much longer to resolve. The good news is that in almost all cases conservative chiropractic treatment will help resolve leg and foot pain or numbness, and restore good function.