Sciatica is one of the most common issues I encounter. Truth be told it’s usually self-diagnosed by the client coming to see me. The typical presentation is some sort of lower back pain with an associated pain down the back of one or two legs.
I often liken the diagnosis to someone going to the mechanic and saying my cars not working. It’s very broad There could be several reasons causing it. Let me explain.
That referred pain down your leg is due to a pressure or irritation of your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve itself is actually made up of the combination of several nerves that all originate from your lower back.
These nerves combine together and later down the leg separate back out. Each nerve supply’s sensation and muscle innervation to a different segment of the leg. They also must pass a lot of different structures (muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons).
If any of these areas are not functioning correctly they cause an increase in pressure on the nerve. This can send a sharp shooting pain down the leg or a dull ache the comes on in particular positions.
These positions are generally although not always aggravated in flexion-based positions (sitting, bending, lifting, driving or the foetal position in bed). The majority of us now live in a heavily flexed world. Take a minute to think what percentage of the day you spend in any of the above positions.
Disc bulges or herniations are also an injury that can cause similar symptoms.
So why does it send pain down my leg?
Most of us have hit our ‘funny bone’ at some stage in our life. The nerve that sits in a notch in the area that you bump supplies down your arm. Although you now feel pain in your hand you haven’t got an actual issue there. Its further up the chain that has been aggravated.
As you can probably understand the variety of factors that could cause increased pressure on your sciatic nerve it’s often higher up towards your glutes and back than further down that needs to be addressed.
Regardless of the cause if you are currently suffering from sciatica or have an underlying disc bulge these are both potentially reversible with the right treatment plan.
At Spring Physio and Rehab, the first step involves a thorough history and use that to guide further testing. Once the underlying cause is identified we can start with the best-personalised treatment plan. This may involve any of the following:
- Mobility exercises
- Deep tissue massage/trigger point release
- Joint Mobilisation
- Postural changes
- Core and full body strengthening
- Activity modification
- Neural Mobility Exercises
- Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Sciatica isn’t something that you need to live with. Its something that a physio can help with and that can be alleviated with the right approach to your specific case.
If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the above book in below to see the experienced team located in Spring Hill Brisbane. With plenty of on-site parking, pool and gym we can get the Spring back in your step.
Spring Physio and Rehab is proud to be part of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the choose.physio movement. Physio is the GP’s number one most recommended therapy.