Physiotherapists regularly treat sciatica and have terrific results.
Sciatica is the Latin word for “Pain down the back of the leg” Sciatica is referred pain usually caused by irritation and or compression of the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Sciatica is pain along this nerve and is a relatively common form of back pain.
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down through the buttocks and along the back of each leg. Sciatica is pain along this nerve and is a relatively common form of back pain in young to middle-aged adults. It is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated or bulging disc.
In older people, changes in the spine due to conditions such as osteoarthritis may be responsible either by causing localised pressure on the nerve or by narrowing of the spinal canal –called spinal stenosis.
Other bone disease, fracture or local injury may also be responsible for causing sciatica.
The pain from sciatica can be anything from infrequent and irritating to severe and debilitating. Usually, it affects only one side, the pain radiating through the buttock and down the leg and is often associated with a constant pain on one side of the buttocks, pain in the leg and/or buttock that may be worse when sitting , burning or tingling down the leg, weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot or a shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up.
While acute sciatica can be extremely painful and uncomfortable, it is rare that permanent nerve damage (tissue damage) results. Most pain is due to inflammation and will improve within a period of time. Nerve pain is caused by a combination of pressure and inflammation on the nerve root, and treatment is centred on relieving both of these conditions.
Typically, acute sciatica is made worse by bending, lifting, sneezing and coughing. Chronic sciatica may be associated with narrowing of the spinal canal – called spinal stenosis
Sciatica is a common problem for manual workers, sedentary office workers and is particularly prevalent during pregnancy.
Pressure on the sciatic nerve can result from a number of reasons including
- Sometimes, just sitting awkwardly can cause sciatica.
- Piriformis syndrome (tightness of the piriformis muscle in the buttock that compresses the sciatic nerve)
- Spinal misalignments, vertebral dysfunction
- herniated disc
- Poor posture – wearing high heels, prolonged sitting, poor mattress
- Poor lifting technique and poor bending habits
- Spinal compressions due to osteoporosis
Diagnosis of Sciatica
Since there are many disorders that can cause sciatica, your [site_profession]s’ first task is to determine the exact cause of your sciatic nerve interference.
- Always begins with a thorough history,
- Spinal, orthopaedic and neurological examination.
- Special diagnostic imaging investigations such as X-ray, CT, MRI
- Posture pro scan may also be required to accurately diagnose your sciatica.
Treatment of Sciatica
As sciatica is due to pressure on the sciatic nerve, it stands to reason that treatment involves removing this pressure. Your [site_discipline] treatment aims to achieve this by reducing nerve pressure caused by poorly moving spinal joints as well as easing muscular tension in the lower spine, buttock and leg.
[site_discipline] Treatment main objectives are
- reduce pain
- restore movement
- strengthen weakened muscles
- reduce tension
This is achieved by using a combination of the following techniques:
- Spinal mobilisations: Maitland, Mulligan, McKenzie Techniques
- Myofascial, Massage and trigger point therapy
- Stretching tight muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments
- Activation and training of the core with lumbopelvic stability muscles
- Ultrasound and other electrical stimulation devices including Transcutaneous Nerve electrical Stimulation(TENS)
- Acupuncture for pain management
- Aquatic Physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy
- Advice in relation to how to minimise pressure and irritation of the sciatic nerve
In older people, changes in the spine due to conditions such as osteoarthritis may be responsible either by causing localised pressure on the nerve or by narrowing of the spinal canal – called spinal stenosis.
Other bone disease or local injury may also be responsible.
In addition to this, you will be given a series of home exercises and asked to apply ice and heat to help aid your recovery.
If you are suffering with sciatica at the moment please do not delay – you can achieve the best results when you address the symptoms early!
For further information, or to consult with one of our skilled [site_profession]s you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page, call our [site_location] practice on [site_phone], or visit [site_title]’s state of the art [site_discipline] clinic at [site_address_line] in [site_location].