Sciatic nerve

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that passes from the spine into the buttock, then into the back of the thigh and leg. The sciatic nerve controls sensation and function to the leg and foot.

In sciatica, prolapsed or 'slipped' discs tend to bulge and press on the inter-vertebral nerve(s). This pressure irritates the nerve, causing pain and inflammation.

Pain can be experienced at the source of compression, or it may be radiated, or referred, down the nerve into the buttocks, the back of the thigh, even in the lower leg.

Pain management for sciatica

  • Seek thorough medical diagnosis and follow all medical advice

  • Attend a clinical practice for appropriate sciatic nerve therapy and supervision

  • For drug free pain relief use TENS therapy.

Using TENS therapy for sciatica

After a diagnosis of sciatic nerve pain, your pain management plan will include several methods of pain relief and should offer drug-free options.

ActivBody is the TENS machine we suggest for sciatica pain.

ActivBody electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief, relaxation and circulation. Plus it will help keep you moving.

How to use ActivBody for Sciatica

User Guide

Please read the User Guide that comes with your TENS machine.

Pad placement - sciatica

The objective is to place the pads either side of the spot where your sciatic pain is at its worst. The signal passes from one electrode to the other, therefore passing through the site of pain.

However some sciatica can be referred to a different but connected part of the body (dermatome). You can also place pads at the source of the nerve damage (the sacroiliac joint) or on the same dermatome.


These are examples only. Please phone us if you need further advice.


Mode, Intensity, Time and Repeat frequency - sciatica.

Please click the image for more information.