Our Physiotherapists regularly treat sciatica and sciatic nerve pain sufferers have terrific results.
Sciatica is characterised by pain that starts in the lower back or buttock and travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain often varies in its’ intensity and frequency, however, usually, there will be a component of sharp, jabbing or “electric shock” pains that radiate into the legs. Sciatica pain is also commonly associated with burning, numbness and tingling sensations. Muscle weakness is another frequent symptom of sciatica that requires careful monitoring.
Typically, sciatica is made worse by bending, lifting, sneezing and coughing.
Sciatica is a common problem for manual workers, sedentary office workers and is particularly prevalent during pregnancy.
To make an appointment for your sciatica pain, click here.
Sciatica nerve pain is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve – a very large nerve that originates from the lower lumbar spine and travels through the buttock into the thigh as far as the back of the knee where it divides and travels down primarily on the back and outside of the lower leg and foot.
Pressure on the Sciatic nerve can be caused anywhere along the length of the sciatic nerve, commonly:
- In the lower back: caused by spinal misalignments, vertebral dysfunction, herniated or prolapsed disc or osteoarthritis
- In the buttock: caused by tightness of the piriformis muscle compressing the sciatic nerve
- Poor posture – wearing high heels, prolonged sitting, poor mattress
- Poor lifting techniques and poor bending habits
- Spinal compression due to osteoporosis
Since many disorders can cause sciatica, your physiotherapists’ first task is to determine the exact cause of your sciatic nerve interference.
Physiotherapy assessment for Sciatica always begins with a thorough history, spinal, orthopaedic and neurological examination. These tests include assessment of posture, the spinal joints, the hip joint, sensation, power, and reflexes.
Special diagnostic imaging investigations such as X-ray, or MRI may also be required to accurately diagnose your sciatica.
As sciatica is due to pressure on the sciatic nerve, it stands to reason that treatment involves alleviating this pressure. Your Physiotherapy 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. This is achieved by using a combination of the techniques including:
- Spinal Mobilisations
- Massage therapy and trigger point therapy
- Stretching tight muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments
- Advice in relation to how to minimise pressure and irritation of the sciatic nerve
In addition to this, you will be given a series of home stretching 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. Please contact us to begin your care today!