Sciatica is lower back pain usually associated with pain in the buttock and down the leg to the feet and toes possibly with numbness, pins and needles or weakness caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain can range from a dull ache to intense pain incapacitating a patient. Sciatica tends to be episodic, with each episode generally worsening.
Causes of Sciatic Pain
Possible causes of sciatica include:
- disc bulge (slipped disc)
- arthritis of the hip or lower spine
- muscle contraction of the buttock
- bony spur growth in the spine
- being overweight
- core muscle weakness
How Osteopaths Treat Sciatic Pain
As with lower back pain, an osteopath will take a full case history and then perform a neurological and physical examination to identify the cause of the pain. In some cases an osteopath may refer you for an MRI scan of the spine. Osteopathic treatment of sciatica aims to reduce the pressure on the nerve, usually through the treatment of related muscles, joints and other soft tissues, including applying traction and gently articulating the vertebra.
Without proper care, sciatica may result in debilitating pain that lasts for months or even sometimes years. However with the right physical therapy combined with self-care as advised by an osteopath, sciatica can resolve quickly. Osteopathy can address and alleviate the immediate acute pain and also advise the patient on ways to avoid further episodes in the future including postural, exercise and dietary advice and work station ergonomics.
London’s Specialist Integrated Approach to Sciatic Pain Treatment
Our osteopaths at London Osteo use an integrated approach to treating lower back pain and sciatica, working closely with top physiotherapists, pilates instructors and massage therapists to better treat and manage the symptoms. Find out more about our osteopathic treatments…