Sciatica is pain in the lower extremity resulting from irritation and pressure of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the lower back and extends through the buttock area to send nerve endings down the lower limb.
Pressure on the sciatic nerve can result from a number of causes including:
Since there are many disorders that can cause Sciatica, your Osteopaths’ first task is to determine the exact cause of your sciatic nerve interference. Therefore, your Osteopath will initially begin by taking a thorough case history, followed by relevant spinal, orthopaedic and neurological examination.
Special diagnostic imaging investigations such as X-ray, CT or MRI may also be required to accurately diagnose the cause of your Sciatica. Your Osteopath will arrange this as required.
As Sciatica is due to pressure on the sciatic nerve, treatment involves removing this pressure, in order to reduce symptoms and help resolve the problem. Osteopathic treatment aims to decrease nerve pressure and associated inflammation by focusing treatment on poorly moving spinal joints, body compensatory patterns and easing muscular tension in the lower spine, buttock, hip and leg.
Techniques and management strategies are dependent on each individual case and may include: