The sciatic nerve is the large nerve that travels from your lower spine, through your buttocks and down your legs to your toes. It supplies both movement and sensation to specific parts of the thigh, calf and foot. “Sciatica” is the word that we use to describe symptoms travelling down the very same path. It is not a disease – rather it is just a location of symptoms. Sciatica can be painful and debilitating, however Osteopathic care may be able to help improve spinal function and reduce your sciatic pain.
What are the common symptoms?
Sciatica can vary between a dull pain to a sharp burning pain which will often travel down one or both legs, it can be associated with ‘pins and needles’, numbness and muscle weakness. There can also be abnormal neurological findings such as reflex loss, muscle weakness, and sensory changes.
The location of the pain is generally quite specific. The pain will be felt in the back or front of the thigh, back and side of the calf and the outside of the foot. There are odd cases where it presents differently and can be assessed by one of our Osteopaths. For those individuals who suffer from severe sciatica a good night’s sleep is seemingly impossible and essential tasks and movements such as walking, standing, bending or standing can be difficult. The pain can last from a few hours to days or weeks at a time.
What happens at your Osteo appointment and how can we help?
We spend quality time with you, actively listening whilst taking a complete medical history of your past and present symptoms. We then complete a comprehensive examination to try and accurately find the cause of your sciatica. We will then clearly explain your diagnosis, management plan and recommend an individualized, whole person treatment program. We use safe, evidence based manual therapy techniques and mobility/strength and stability exercises.
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