Mention the word sciatica and the most likely response from anyone who has suffered it will be ‘horrible’! And it is horrible.
So what exactly is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body which travels down the back of the leg and calf. The symptoms of sciatica occur when the nerve is irritated or “trapped”.
Symptoms can include pain that seems to travel down the leg, and a numbness or tingling, or a sensation of pins and needles that may go from the low back, down the back of the thigh and even as far down as the foot.
If you ever find yourself suffering these symptoms, then do get yourself checked out sooner rather than later.
What are the causes Sciatica?
The most common causes are disc herniation (commonly referred to as a slipped disc), and wear and tear in the lumbar spine. There are other causes but these are far less common.
Sciatica can often get worse if left untreated, and although it may resolve, research suggests that around 60% of sufferers will experience another episode within 2 years.
How to find relief from the pain of Sciatica?
Sciatica can be extremely painful and debilitating and needs to be managed with lifestyle advice, exercise and physical therapy. If you do have a sudden episode we recommend the following:
Try to keep mobile
- Use an icepack on the area for 15 minutes at a time, separated by 1 hour intervals
- You may also find some relief from anti-inflammatory medication
- Do not use heat on your back as this may make things worse
- If pain persists, do get professional help sooner rather than later
How chiropractic can help Sciatica
The gentle manipulation techniques used in chiropractic may help to lower the level of pain, improve mobility, and make future episodes less likely to happen.
No two patients are ever the same and it can often be the case that combining another discipline such as acupuncture with chiropractic or physiotherapy may help enhance your recovery.
At the Waldegrave Clinic, our multi disciplinary approach ensures you get the right treatment for your pain problem.