Sciatica can be really debilitating

Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica is the name given to pain that generally starts in the lower back and extends through the buttock region, down the back of the leg and into the foot. It normally affects one leg only, rarely both.

Sciatica is caused when the large sciatic nerve becomes irritated; normally the result of localised pinching in the lower spine. As anyone who’s suffered can vouch, the pain can be excrutiating.

The Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body and is composed of individual nerve roots that branch out from the spine. The nerve then branches out to the various parts of the leg below.

The symptoms, be they leg pain, tingling sensations, pins and needles, numbness or weakness are different depending on whereabouts in the lower lumbar or sacral region the nerve is actually trapped.

A herniated disc is often the cause of sciatica

So What Causes Sciatica?

There are several causes of Sciatica. The most common cause we see in our Ashford clinic, is a herniated or prolapsed disc, often referred to as a slipped disc.

Each segment of the spine is effectively cushioned by a flexible disc that protects the spine from vertically applied compressive forces (such as those that occur when we jump and land).

Disc Herniation

The disc itself contains a pulpy substance called the “nucleus pulposus”.  If the fibrous outer wall of the disc (the annulus fibrosus) ruptures then the inner core can leak out applying pressure to the sciatic nerve that runs adjacent.

Unfortunately the disc is not strong against rotational forces and these can cause the disc to rupture. Such forces can occur simply by bending at an awkward angle and lifting something heavy.

Touch2Heal osteopaths treat Sciatica

Touch2Heal’s Sciatica Treatment

Osteopathy can be effective in relieving pressure on the trapped nerve and many clients find acupuncture excellent for the pain.

We can also advise on specific exercises to develop the core muscles which will help support the load on the spine.

Please call today to make an appointment.