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What is Sciatica and can it be managed with Osteopathy?

Sciatica is a common complaint. It can affect anyone but it more common in people between age 30 and 70, pregnant women, in fact, women are three times more likely to suffer with sciatica than men. It is a term to describe pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.

What is sciatica? 

Sciatica can occur as a result of an injury, degeneration in the spine, herniation of the disc and pregnancy amongst others. It happens when the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve of the body, running from lower back, through the pelvis and buttocks and all the way down the back of the legs to the ankle, foot and toes, is compressed or irritated.

back pain oxfordWhat does it feel like?

Pain from Sciatica can vary from a mild ache to being debilitating painful. For some people it can be intermittent and for others it will be there all the time, it will normally affect one side of the body to a larger extent than the other.

Signs can include;

  • Pain in the lower back, leg or buttocks that is worse when sitting down
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the back, leg or rear.
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

For some sufferers the pain can extend from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the full length of the leg. Depending on where in the length of the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes.

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What can I do to help sciatic pain? 

It is important to discuss your initial diagnosis with your GP. Should you also experience back and leg pain, weight loss or loss of bladder or bowel control it is important to seek advice to ensure the diagnosis is confirmed and is the correct diagnosis.

For short term management, over the counter medication can help but it is important to visit your osteopath as soon as possible.  Long term, exercises including stretching and guided core muscle strength work can help relieve some of the symptoms of the condition.

back pain treatment abingdonCan osteopathy help sciatica?

Simply put – yes. We cannot cure sciatica but we can help manage the pain and the symptoms of the condition.   The overall program starts with you, we will complete an assessment of your condition and levels of mobility and pain. Working together our osteopathy team here at Kennington Osteo we will start work in the clinic on helping manage your sciatic pain and we will discuss a plan to continue exercises at home to make the best of the work carried out while in the clinic.

Osteopath AbingdonSciatica is a common condition and can cause varying levels of pain, if you suffer with problems with your back or sciatic pain, talk to us today about how osteopathy can help.