What is sciatica pain?
Sciatica is a painful condition that occurs when pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve, which exits your spinal cord and passes through the buttock, then into the back of the thigh and leg.
What are the sciatica pain symptoms?
Sciatic nerve pain symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- Pain in the buttock and down the leg
- Numbness, weakness in the leg muscles
- Tingling (‘pins and needles’)
- Pain when lifting or pushing with the leg
- Aching in the hamstring, back of the thigh and calf, or even difficulty in controlling and moving the leg.
Sciatica nerve pain can be difficult to manage, as the physical symptoms can be very distracting and can limit one’s range of movement.
What are the sciatica pain causes?
Sciatica pain can be caused by a number of different conditions, including spinal disc herniation, pregnancy, spinal stenosis, and rare conditions such as piriformis syndrome (where the nerve runs through the piriformis muscle instead of beneath it, or the muscle spasms/shortens, placing pressure on the nerve).
However, it is usually possible to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve without resorting to invasive techniques. This is where an osteopath can help.
How can an osteopath help with sciatic pain treatment?
Your osteopath may recommend a number of different exercises, such as swimming and Pilates, which relieve pressure on the nerve whilst strengthening the structures of the back, hip and legs which will provide long term relief.
They will also recommend occupational changes, such as standing up to stretch at certain intervals if you work at a desk job.
Manual therapy methods may also be effective for reducing the pressure on the sciatic nerves; gentle stretching, mobilisation and manual manipulation may be utilised.
For more information on how our Melbourne CBD and Reservoir teams can help, please call Northern Spinal & Sports Injury Clinic on (03) 9470 1010.