Sciatica and Nerve Conditions
Simply put, Sciatica is an umbrella term or syndrome meaning irritation of the Sciatic Nerve. This irritation can be both chemical (e.g. inflammation) or mechanical (e.g. pressure from an adjacent structure) or both. Sciatica is characterised by pain radiating from the lower back into the buttocks and/or down into the legs and sometimes feet – pain can literally be experienced anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve. In its’ acute form it is most commonly caused by prolapse or herniation of an intervertebral disc.
Your OFP Physiotherapist will be able to diagnose what structures and factors are the main drivers of your sciatic pain and give you the latest evidence-based treatments to get you back to sport, work and life! BOOK AN APPOINTMENT NOW to experience safe, effective “…healthcare that cares”!
Sciatica may be caused by compression and/or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots that give rise to each sciatic nerve or by compression or irritation of the left, right or both sciatic nerves. In addition to pain, which is sometimes severe, there may be numbness, muscular weakness, pins and needles or tingling and difficulty in moving or controlling the leg.
Although sciatica is a relatively common form of low back pain and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is a set of symptoms rather than a specific diagnosis for what is irritating the root of the nerve. It is important to consult a Physiotherapist to determine a likely patho-anatomical diagnosis and what driving the sciatic pain.
This point is important, because treatment for sciatica or sciatic symptoms often differs, depending upon the underlying cause, whether it is acute or chronic and whether it is coming from pressure via a disc or some other soft tissue structure. Call Today for a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your pain and we will be able to direct the right treatment to get you pain free again!
The most common symptoms of Sciatica are:
• Pain in the lower back
• Pain in the buttock
• Pain in the leg or foot
• Muscle spasms in the hamstring or lower leg
• Numbness or muscle weakness especially in the affected leg/s
• Pins and needles or tingling
• Increased pain when lifting, straining or coughing
• Difficulty in moving or controlling the leg
• Chronic stiffness in the leg muscles, especially calf and hamstring
• Restless legs at night and foot cramp