Sciatica is a painful syndrome caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs deep through the buttock and down the leg. Sciatica can range from a dull ache to an incapacitating pain. Symptoms may be constant or intermittent, depending on activities or time of day.
Osteopathy can be useful in relieving the symptoms of sciatica
Osteopaths will usually conduct a full musculoskeletal and orthopaedic examination to find the true underlying cause of the sciatica. Osteopaths treat the related joints, muscles, ligaments or tendons to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica can often resolve quickly with the appropriate management and self-care.
Symptoms of sciatica may include the following:
- pain in the buttock or down the leg
- muscular weakness
- pins and needles or tingling
- difficulty moving or controlling the leg.
The pain associated with sciatica can be caused by a number of underlying conditions. These may include:
- herniated (bulging) disc in the lower back
- bony growths on the spine
- arthritis in the low back or hip
- tight muscles in the buttock or trauma to the lower back
- pregnancy, due to changes in the pelvis and lower back.
Tips for managing sciatica
- Engage in low impact exercise such as swimming, yoga and pilates to increase flexibility and back strength
- Sit and stand with good posture
- Use ergonomic furniture such as chairs with lumbar support