Sciatica is one of the most common diagnosis given by medical professionals for pain that radiates down the thigh.
So what is sciatica?
True sciatica is classified as pain that radiates down the back of the leg pass the knee and down to the foot. Sciatica is typically caused by a pinching of the sciatic nerve at the intervertebral foramina (the part of the spine where the nerves exit) this pinching can be caused by a number of structures both directly at the exit point of the nerve but also at various stages of the nerves path as it travels down the leg. However, it is usually due to a pinching at the nerve root that causes true sciatic pain.
Common symptoms include
- Pain in one leg that travels down to the foot
- Pain is usually described as sharp, burning or stabbing
- Pins and needles can sometimes accompany the pain
- Walking and movement can be difficult due to the pain
- Sitting often causes pain
- Bending forwards can give some relief
The good news is that sciatica is usually straight forwards to treat and permanent damage is rare. However if the pain begins to radiate into both legs that is accompanied by numbness around the anus and saddle region with incontinence then you should seek immediate medical attention as this is a sign of a condition called cauda equina which is a medial emergency.
How to treat sciatica
How sciatica is treated depends largely on the cause which your osteopath will be able to determine with an examination. but will usually consist of manual therapy and exercise, alongside possible lifestyle advice to prevent it from happening again. Below are several exercises that may give you some relief in the meantime.
If you currently have sciatica symptoms and would like to talk about your pain then I can be contacted on 07500059064 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook messenger.
Yours in Health
Andrew Graves, Osteopth & Sports Therapist
Serving Pontypool, Cwmbran, Usk & Abergvaenny
Andy has been involved in the health & fitness industry for over 10 years, specialising in corrective exercise, injury prevention and rehabilitation of low back, neck and shoulder pain. He also has an interest in the use of Osteopathy for the management of headaches.