How To Find Relief From Sciatica
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe pain down the leg. It really means pain that is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This is the largest and longest nerve in the body running from a collection of nerves at several levels in the low back right down to the nerves in the feet. When I was a student I well remember looking at the thickness of this nerve when I was in the dissecting room at a London hospital and being somewhat in awe of its thickness and tensile strength!
What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of can be quite varied. Usually it affects only one leg and can range from numbness (including pins and needles sensation) or muscle weakness, cramping or a burning sensation in the thigh as well as pain or aching in the leg. In more rare occasions there may be loss of movement in the affected leg(s). Sciatic pain can affect anywhere along the path of the nerve, from the low back through the buttocks and down the back of the leg to the feet. It is also possible to have only leg pain without low back pain.
The degree of pain can also be variable ranging from a dull ache to a sharp excruciating pain which may or may not be relieved by a change in position or activity. Sleep often becomes difficult and medication may be of little use.
How Is Sciatica Caused?
The reasons for sciatic pain are variable but it is often related to a mechanical cause when the nerve becomes trapped or irritated. It can be linked to a bulge or tear in the disc but this is not always so and it has been discovered that bulging discs may not always cause pain.
It is recognised that a poor level of physical fitness can lead to an overall effect on health.
How Can You Treat This Type Of Pain?
The advice below is taken from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines dated November 2016 for Low Back Pain and Sciatica in over 16s: Assessment and Management states:
‘Consider manual therapy (spinal manipulation, mobilisation or soft tissue techniques such as massage) for managing low back pain with or without sciatica, but only as part of a treatment package including exercise, with or without psychological therapy.’
Chiropractic adjustments work by helping to place your body in the proper position that then allows the body to heal itself. One of the key focuses of chiropractic care is realigning the spine and thereby reducing pressure placed on sensitive nerves, which can contribute to dysfunction.
Our gentle chiropractic approach at Hiltingbury Chiropractic which includes advice on diet and lifestyle may be helpful for sciatic pain. Vanessa Churchill, our chiropractor, is always happy to discuss your individual problems with you to help you decide if chiropractic is right for you. Please give us a call on 02380 253 545.
NICE Guidelines November 2016 for Low Back Pain and Sciatica in over 16s: Assessment and Management