I also had a bad experience with chiropractors. I had some mild back pain last year, which turned into acute disabling pain after visiting a chiropractor, which lasted 2 months. During this time I also experienced sciatica pain occasionally. I wasn't able to take care of my 6 month old son and had to hire a nanny! I guess there might be good chiropractors out there, but now I am also scared to go to any chiropractors.
Finally I got better by just forcing myself to walk more despite the pain, strengthen my back/stomach muscles and stretching.
There are some good stretching exercises for sciatica.
A Physical therapist, or some books should be able to give you advice/ideas for the stretching.