Sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve is irritated or trapped. Osteopathy can help to release the area causing the problem, reducing pain and symptoms. It can also help to reduce the pressure on the nerve and any inflammation this has caused. A trained osteopath can give you a diagnosis, and work to establish why the nerve got compressed in the first place, aiming to prevent it from happening again.
What symptoms might you be experiencing?
The following symptoms are typical of sciatica:
- Pain/numbness or tingling in low back, glute area or in the leg
- Pain that is worse after sitting or standing still for a long period of time
- Weakness in the leg
- Difficulty lifting the foot on the affected side when walking
- Pain into the hip area
You may experience just one or two symptoms, or you may have all of these, and potentially more. Nerve pain can be unpredictable and can affect everyone differently. It’s important you seek a professional diagnosis so you can find ways to manage the pain in the short term, and put preventative measures in place in the long term.
What may be causing sciatica?
These are some potential causes of sciatica:
- A condition that causes compression of the nerve root, such as a slipped disc, degenerative disc disease, lumbar canal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.
- Muscle tightness or spasm, which can cause compression of the nerve anywhere along its route. This most commonly happens in the back, glutes or hamstrings.
- An increase in weight; sciatica is quite common during pregnancy.
- Lifestyle choices, such as a mattress that is too hard or too soft, or a lack of exercise and/or movement throughout the body.
How can osteopathy help you with sciatica?
An osteopath will begin by carrying out a diagnosis and confirming whether it’s sciatica that you’re experiencing. They can then go on to find the right treatment plan for you.
and encourage blood flow to the affected area using soft tissue massage, articulation techniques and icing products. This supports the healing process, speeding it up so you can resume normal activities as soon as possible.
Help to increase range of motion,
decompressing and correcting the posture of the low back if this is where the nerve is compressed. This can be done using traction, articulation, and oscillation techniques.
Release the tension
within the muscle or calm it down to take pressure off the nerve. This is helpful if the nerve is trapped due to muscle tightness or spasms. We’ll use muscle energy techniques, soft tissue massage, and inhibition.
Strengthen and stretch
the area to improve the problem quicker. Your osteopath can also give you exercises to do at home. These will include postural exercises to try and prevent the problem from returning.
Tips for dealing with sciatica
Don’t remain static as this can make sciatica worse.
such as knee hugs and glute stretches. Make sure to avoid any movements that involve bending forwards and twisting your low back at the same time.
and a heat pack and doing some hot and cold treatment on the affected area.
It’s very important to get a professional diagnosis for sciatica, otherwise you could end up causing more damage. Come and see an osteopath as soon as you can if you’re experiencing sciatic pain.
solving disruptive sciatica
Find out how we helped our patient solve years of on-off sciatic pain.
A patient was recommended to OsteoWellbeing by a friend after complaining of low back pain and leg pain. He had these symptoms in recurring episodes for many years, and he had trouble putting his shoes and socks on or sitting/standing for long periods of time.
We carried out four treatments involving massage, manipulations, decompression, and posture improving techniques, as well as giving our patient exercises to do at home. We also fitted him with some insoles for his shoes to further improve his posture. After this, he was able to put his shoes and socks on more comfortably and no longer had any leg or back pain.
What did our patient think?
After having gone through lots of pain, stiffness and discomfort for at least two years with my lower back and hip I contacted Süheyla and I am so glad I did. I no longer have sciatic pains down my legs from my lower back and hips. The pain from my lower back has also gone and the stiffness is improving every day. I have had only three sessions with another one scheduled for later this week. After an initial assessment Süheyla did a few gentle manipulations, and she has freed up my lower back. She also got me to wear insoles in my shoes which have helped keep my hips even. I am really delighted to be pain free and after trying so many other methods I am so pleased that at last I have found something that has really helped me. Thank you Süheyla.
How else can we help?
Shoulder, hip and knee pain
Do you get pain in your shoulder, hip or knee? We can help correct these issues for you.
Lower back and neck pain
We can help with back and neck pain by decreasing pressure on the spine and correcting your posture.
We can help with these issues by decompressing your spine, allowing your damaged disc to retract.
Osteopathy can improve foot and ankle alignment so that plantar fasciitis can heal. We can also provide you with insoles to help prevent problems reoccurring.
We can help improve neck posture and release the surrounding muscles to ease those headaches.
Osteopathy can balance out sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, helping you feel more relaxed and able to get on with your day.
Tennis and golfer’s elbow
Osteopathy can help increase your range of motion and decrease the pain you’re feeling in your elbow.
Bad posture can cause a huge range of symptoms. Osteopaths can help to diagnose these issues and correct your posture.
Osteopaths can help diagnose what is causing damage to nerves, treating the affected area and referring you to the right specialist if needed.
Osteopathy can help slow down the process of degeneration that leads to arthritis.
Osteopathy can help the body to repair sports injuries quicker and prevent them happening again, getting you back to your training.
Aches and pains during pregnancy
Osteopathy can help restore posture and offer relief from pain during pregnancy, as well as getting the body ready for labour.