Sciatica is a common condition that affects the sciatic nerve, which is the longest and widest nerve in the body. Sciatica can be an excruciatingly painful condition, leading to symptoms like shooting pain accompanied by numbness, and tingling. This is most commonly starts in the lower back radiating to one side of the buttock and leg. It’s important to understand what causes sciatica so you can take measures to reduce its severity and take control of your health.
A common cause of sciatica is a herniated or prolapsed disc in the lower back which puts pressure on the Sciatic nerve. Other potential causes include spinal stenosis, an infection near a nerve root, bone spurs on the spine, injury to the muscles and ligaments around your spine. Changes in the body as a result of a pregnancy, or swelling and inflammation in and around the deep gluteal (piriformis) region can also cause tissue to impinge on the sciatic nerve causing symptoms. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available to help manage sciatica and improve your quality of life. First of all, having a proper assessment with a trained professional is key when it comes to experiencing symptoms associated with Sciatica, as there are a number of other conditions that can mimic the condition.
We regularly see people in clinic presenting with symptoms associated with Sciatica. Depending on individual need, cause and severity of symptoms, treatments like hot/cold therapy, electrical stimulation, massage, and joint mobilisation can help calm down a Sciatica flare up. Exercises appropriate to the stage of healing that involve strengthening and stretching are also important for improving flexibility, spinal posture and pain reduction. If you suspect you are suffering with Sciatica, or know someone that is, feel free to get in touch, or book in with Stuart at Sports Therapy One Kenilworth for a full injury assessment.