How do we treat sciatic nerve pain?

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Sciatic nerve can be a debilitating symptom that is characterised by pain running down the back of one leg. The pain is often described as “electric” and can be associated with other neurological issues such as numbness and tingling in the affected leg. In my experience, “sciatica” is an over diagnosed condition and throughout my years of practice I think I have only seen about 30 genuine cases of lower back pain that have sciatic nerve root irritation or compression. Quite often the pain that one feels in this same area is the hip joint instead. However, we can treat sciatica when it is found.

Hands on therapy

The sciatic nerve passed around some structures as it runs down the leg. The most important of these is a small muscle called the piriformis. The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region (bottom region) that is responsible for stabilisation and rotation of the hip. Anatomically, the sciatic nerve can run over or below the piriformis, in rare cases the sciatic nerve actually runs through this muscle. Due to its close proximity to the nerve, the piriformis can inflame and further irritate the nerve. There is also a theory called the “double crush theory” that when a nerve is compressed or irritated in one area, it is more susceptible to damage at another. The next logical place for damage to occur is the piriformis. Therefore, targeted manual therapy (and exercise therapy) such as sports massage could help relieve symptoms.

Other manual therapy targeted at the back could also help to relieve symptoms such as massage and mobilisations.

Exercise therapy

Exercises targeted to stretching the piriformis may help release the sciatic nerve. Additionally, here are some specific exercises for sciatica which utilise something called “neurodynamics” which is sort of like stretching of nerve tissue. Initially, this exercise is painful but the pain does lessen with time. General lower back stretching and strengthening can also help relieve the sciatica nerve symptoms, your therapist will assess you fully to find your deficits and give you exercises to help resolve these.

Joints and Points Healthcare has experienced Physiotherapists (and Sports Therapist) who can help you with your condition.

Face to face and hands on treatment is available in the Bromborough office to date. Since lock down we have been providing remote Physio and Talking Therapy services and have received great feedback so far. All because you are staying safe at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to help when you need it! Our physiotherapist is available to offer any help we can, DM, email or call us.

Office number – 0151 345 6823

Office email – [email protected]