Sciatica is a line of pain down the
back of your leg anywhere from the middle of your mid
buttock to the bottom of your foot. It can just be in your
buttock, or from your buttock to your knee, or half way
to your knee, or just in your calf, or any combination or
variation of these. But it has to the back, not
the side or front of your leg).
Sciatica is not pain in the
side or front of your leg. Your sciatic nerve runs down the
middle of the back of your leg so that is the only place you
can have sciatica. Nerve pain in your quads, the front
of your thigh, comes from T12 to L2, a bit higher up the
down the side of the thigh, usually is usually
associated with the sacro-iliac joints. These are the
joints between the spine (sacrum) and the two pelvic bones
experience the sacro-iliac joints are a common cause of
lower back, pelvic and leg pain. Very common.
Sacro-iliac problems are
usually easy to treat and often easy for my patients to self
manage. They just have to know what to do and that's what I
love to teach them.
sciatic nerves is made up of 5 pairs of nerves that
come from either side of your lower spine. From L3to
Sciatica is caused
Strain of the joints or soft tissue in the low back, pelvis or
Degeneration of the lower spine – severe arthritis
Badly bulging or prolapsed disc
If the facet joints at the back of the
spine are damaged or strained, the muscles that cross them
are also effected.
Bad arthritis in the
low back causes loss of disc height, degeneration of facet
joints at the back of the spine, and bony growths called
osteophytes or spurs. All of these factors can cause a
narrowing of the hole that the nerve passes out of the
spinal column through.
If this narrowing
gets bad enough it will put pressure on the nerve and cause
pain. A badly bulging or
prolapsed (slipped) disc presses on one of the nerves that
leave your spine, to become your sciatic nerve. A mild or
moderate bulge will not do this.
be anything from annoying to agonizing. The worse it is, the
more likely you are to have done damage to the disc. While
signs and symptoms can suggest disc damage, the only
way to definitely diagnose a disc prolapse is to have a CT
or MRI scan. Plain X rays won't do it, as they only give us
a clear image of the bones.
Treatment depends on severity. Mild
to moderate pain will only need conservative
an osteopath or other manual therapist. If it's just a
strain, it will usually settle in days or a couple of weeks
with 3-6 treatments. If there is damage you
will require periodic treatment after the acute attack has
have bad or severe pain that persists despite conservative
treatment, and there are positive findings on X ray, CT or
MRI, surgery may be required.
What you can
Never overlook the importance of rest. Fatigued muscle cannot
support or move you properly. This will contribute to your
Antinflammatories and other
analgesia, including herbs, can be very useful in
hot shower or bath can be soothing. So can a hot water
bottle or wheat bag. Heat relaxes tight muscles and
promotes blood flow through the area.
active in looking after the problem with stretching and
exercising. A flexible back brace can be helpful when it's