Sciatica

Sciatica Yoga Class

Sciatica

Sciatica is a pain that is felt by over 40% of the population at some point during their lives. Sciatica is a pain the can be felt in your lower back that runs along the sciatic nerve, all the way down to your hamstrings and lower leg. It is known as being the longest nerve in the body and is commonly misdiagnosed! Sciatica is often caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc, compression of the nerve, a locked facet joint or joint inflammation. The main nerve moving down your lower back to your leg is your sciatic nerve. When pain is transferred from your lower back down to your leg it is likely the sciatic nerve is affected. When the sciatic nerve is irritated it is common to feel severe leg pain which is known as sciatica. It is most common for you to develop sciatica when you are aged between 30 and 50 years old. There are many reasons that sciatica may occur such as general wear and tear or sudden pressure on your spine. Other common causes of sciatica include facet joint injuries, Lumbar bulging disc and spine degeneration. Sciatica will also occasionally be caused by a sudden traumatic accident.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms associated with sciatica include pain that begins in the lower back and spreads down the leg, even occasionally to the foot. The level of pain can range from sharp shooting pains to dull aches. It is not uncommon to experience a burning or tingling session with weakened muscles in the affected leg. If you are experiencing any of the following sensations it may have been caused by sciatica; tingling or burning in your leg, constant pain on one side of our calf, numbness or weakness in your foot and pain in your lower body that is worsened by sitting. Sciatica can cause long-term nerve damage so it is crucial to get diagnosed as soon as possible to prevent symptoms from becoming permanent!

Diagnosis

Sciatica is quite simple to diagnose based on a physical examination, your pain and symptom descriptions. What can be quite difficult, however, is diagnosing the main cause of your sciatica. It is crucial to understand just how much damage has been done to the sciatic nerve. Your spine and legs will be thoroughly examined by your myotherapist. Your body will be tested for weaknesses of the muscles and reflexes in your legs. it is especially important to mention whether the pain in your back has spread to your legs. 

Your myotherapist will have to ask you some seemingly unrelated questions to determine what is causing the pressure on the sciatic nerve such as whether you have had a fever. It is not uncommon for your myotherapist to recommend that you get an X-Ray, CT scan or an MRI scan for a full diagnosis. 

Prevention

There are many simple ways to prevent sciatica from occurring or reoccurring that can fit within your daily life. One of the simplest ways to do this is to practice good posture as often as possible. By avoiding postures that cause pain and practicing good posture we can prevent situations where the sciatic nerve may be pinched. Posture is also extremely important during the time that you are sleeping. You can relieve pressure on your back by sleeping on your side or with a pillow under your knees. You can usually judge whether you have been using the correct posture by your level of pain throughout the day. Other preventative actions you can take to strengthen your back include swimming and walking! Once the sciatica has passed your trained myotherapist will be able to guide you on all the best exercises and routine changes that will improve your quality of life dramatically. 

Treatment

Your treatment plan will be thoroughly outlined for your individual needs by your myotherapist. Stage one will revolve around managing your pain as effectively as possible, this will also include managing your inflammation. Following this, your myotherapist will guide you through restoring normality to your posture, strength and flexibility. The third stage will aid in restoring full function and control of your body so that you can return to your normal activities. Finally, your myotherapist will provide you with all the information you require to prevent a recurrence. 

There are many helpful options available when treating sciatica. Whilst your treatment will follow a comprehensive four-phase plan outlined by your myotherapist, other choices can also assist with your recovery. These options include but are not limited too; Swiss exercise balls, massage therapy, acupuncture and using a back brace. It is important to book a session with us to first discuss which treatment option will benefit your case the most.  

As sciatica has a high chance of occurring again in the future it is crucial to ensure the injury does not reoccur by following your rehabilitation plans as closely as possible. The best way to prevent future problems is to exercise regularly and improve control of your body. It is especially key to ensure your back and core are strong to allow you to safely return to your sport of choice. Your myotherapist will be able to guide you on the techniques that will provide the best self-management possible!