What is Sciatica?

Nobody likes to be in pain, but sciatic pain can be one of the most debilitating conditions to suffer from since it can affect your back and legs, and often makes it difficult to go about your daily activities – even to sit down. Residents in Baulkham Hills and the Hills Area facing sciatica can find relief through expert chiropractic and massage services at Precision Health.

What is Sciatica? Sciatica or sciatic neuralgia refers to pain occurring along the pathway of the sciatic nerve, running from the lower back through the hip and down the back of each leg. When the nerve gets injured or compressed, pain occurs originating from the low back, radiating down through the hip, buttocks and leg – sometimes down as far as the foot and big toe. The pain can vary from dull, aching or burning to sharp and shooting. Other clinical presentations could involve muscle weakness, numbness and tingling. It is important to have this condition treated as quickly as possible when it first arises because compression of the nerve long term could lead to permanent damage resulting in permanent symptoms.

What Causes Sciatica?

Potential causes of sciatica could include an injury or compression to the sciatic nerve which could be due to structural changes such as herniated or bulging discs, lumbar spine facet joint dysfunction or inflammation. Non-structural causes could include fibromyalgia, diabetes, peripheral neuropath or ischemia (inadequate blood supply). To identify the specific cause of a patient’s sciatica would require imaging such as x-ray, CT or MRI scans as well as observation and physical examination.

Treatment for Sciatica

Generally, treatment would be carried out with three phases. The first phase focuses on relieving pain. Depending on the exact cause of the problem, treatment regimes could range from taking anti-inflammatories, manual manipulation, acupuncture, taping and soft tissue work. Once the pain and inflammation have subsided, the next phase of treatment would be to focus on restoring flexibility, good posture to prevent injuries from occurring again. Postural awareness with cues like keeping your spine stretched ‘tall’ allows the spaces in our spine to open up and avoid pinching of the nerves. The last phase focuses on strengthening work and stability exercises like increasing core strength. Other ideal options include swimming or hydrotherapy as buoyancy of the body in water reduces strain on the area. Our other advice would be to try side-sleeping with a pillow placed under your stacked knees so to avoid additional pressure on your back from lying face up.

Unfortunately, sciatica can often reoccur, therefore it is very important to undertake a strong rehabilitation programme that targets core strength, mobility and stability to avoid ongoing symptoms that could potentially become permanent if neglected for long. Whilst it is important to challenge oneself during strengthening exercises, it is equally important to not overdo things. Precision Health advises caution during strengthening exercises, ensuring that discomfort doesn’t lead to overexertion.

Residents in Baulkham Hills suffering from sciatic pain can rely on Precision Health’s chiropractors and massage therapists for personalised care. To reduce pain, manage symptoms, and prevent recurrence, contact Precision Health at Baulkham Hills by calling (02) 9639 7337, or book online. Our dedicated team is committed to ensuring your well-being and providing effective solutions for sciatica in the Hills Area.

Ropper, AH & Zafonte, RD, 2015, ‘Sciatica’, The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 372, no. 13, pp. 1240–1248, doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1410151.

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Precision Health Spine & Sports clinic treats a diverse range of neuromuscular and skeletal biomechanical disorders. Whether you are having trouble with your knees, you have a pain in the neck, or if you are just feeling stiff and sore, we can help you with our suite of treatment options that can be tailored especially for you. Take a look at the wide range of disorders we can help you with. Whether you need chiropractic treatment, remedial massage, physiotherapy, podiatry or a combination of disciplines, we have the expertise to decrease your pain and discomfort and increase your mobility and quality of life.