Sciatica is the Latin word for “Pain down the back of the leg” Sciatica is referred pain usually caused by trapping the sciatic nerve in the lower back. See 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 and is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated or bulging disc.
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 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, 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.
Physiotherapy Treatment main objectives are
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 leg as far as the back of the knee.
Common causes for this pressure on the sciatic nerve include:
Since there are many disorders that can cause sciatica, your physiotherapist’s first task is to determine the exact cause of your sciatic nerve interference.
Physiotherapy treatment always begins with a thorough history of your medical background, previous injuries and day-to-day activities to better understand your condition.
At a2z Health Group, we’ll also conduct spinal, orthopaedic and neurological examinations. Special diagnostic imaging investigations such as x-ray, CT, MRI and posture pro scan may also be required to accurately diagnose your sciatica.
As sciatica pain stems from pressure on the sciatic nerve, it stands to reason that treatment involves removing 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.
To do this, our qualified and experienced physiotherapists adopt a range of techniques including:
In addition to your clinical treatment, we may also advise you on a series of home stretching exercises to complement your treatment, and apply ice and heat to help aid your recovery.
If you are suffering with sciatica at the moment, don’t delay seeking treatment at our Noble Park and Dandenong clinic – you can achieve the best results when you address the symptoms early. Book an appointment online today – we provide tailored physiotherapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, clinical Pilates, massage and bracing treatments to cater for your specific condition.