When I was 18, I helped a buddy move a Hammond organ (like a small piano) out of a pickup with a shell on it. I had to stoop over the organ to move it. Big mistake, I didn't walk right for a month after that. Had trouble ever since for the next 25 years, off and on several times a year, sometimes very badly. Been to the chiro, been adjusted, had electrical stim. Always temporary, had to keep going back. Chiro said I have one leg slightly longer than the other, and minor curvature of the spine, but nothing serious. I'm sure my problem was just muscle spasms.
My wife had several bouts with sciatica, nothing seemed to provide releif. In desperation I brought home an inversion table for her. Getting her to try it was like pulling teeth though, and I ended up using it more than her. First, I noticed that it just felt good (with the exception below!), a nice relaxing stretch, especially after riding or a workout. After some time I realized I hadn't had an episode with back pain for quite a while. That was two years ago and my back pain has yet to return. I use it about once a week. Even started doing inverted sit ups (the first time you try it, only do one!). I could care less about the marketing hype, and the supposed "refill", although I suppose that prompted me to buy it in the first place. Increasing the space between vertebrae seemed like a logical solution to releive a possible pinched nerve issue for my wife, even if it was a long shot. It does seem to have helped me for whatever reason, and is certainly worth a try before resorting to any kind of surgery. I'll never get rid of it. I walk straighter and feel taller after using it.
And the wife? She still doesn't use it, unless she feels sciatia coming on. Then I can't get her off it. The last few episodes for her have lasted days instead of weeks, and she has been able to function. I think, based on my own experience, that if she used it regularly it might not recur. At least it's worth a try. It feels good, she has nothing to loose, and everything to gain.
I don't claim it will help everyone, but it certainly won't hurt. And you can use it whenever you like without making an appointment.
A word of caution though - if you are unused to being inverted or you are over about 200#, DO NOT go completely inverted until you get used to it. I weigh 225 and made that mistake early on. After about a five minute session, I could feel an unsusual stretch in my groin. Afterword I found it painful to sit and try to cross my legs. The effects went away after half an hour of walking around. I think my upper body weight was trying to pull my legs out of my hip sockets. Since then I took a more conservative approach and worked up to full inversion gradually, no problems since.