Osteopathic Treatment for Sciatica
What Causes Sciatica
Sciatica is a painful health condition usually resulting from the compression, rubbing or pressing of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the hips to the feet. The pain starts from the lower back, flows down through the buttocks and thighs to the lower section of the legs. The pain may run down through the front, sides or backs of the legs. Sciatica may also result in pins and needles resulting from pressure on or inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica affects both men and women, most commonly in the age group of 25–70 years, however it is most common during people’s 40s and 50s, and men are more often affected.
Wear and tear in the spinal joints can cause sciatica through the narrowing of joint spaces between vertebrae and bone spurs which press on the nerves in the lower back
There are recognised positions in which the body may be placed in order to establish sciatica, such as raising a leg horizontally whilst the person is lying on their back, pain shoots from the back to beyond the knee.
Can an Osteopath Help With Sciatica?
An Osteopath can help with Sciatica by making a diagnosis and to help with the understanding as to the cause of the pain.
It should be understood that sciatica is a symptom not a diagnosis and remains a symptom until the cause has been established.
Treatment can be extremely successful in easing the pain. Pain is relieved by decreasing inflammation in the affected areas.
The Osteopath will include the means by which treatment is provided for the recovery process. Following this the Osteopath will set up a rehabilitation treatment regime incorporating a combination of exercise and body manipulation.
Does acupuncture work for sciatica?
Acupuncture may well relieve the pain resulting from sciatica. The amount of relief it provides is subject to the patient’s underlying problem. Sciatica has encouraged considerable research and anecdotally responds well to acupuncture.
Sciatica is one of the conditions for which people choose to consider acupuncture as a form of pain management as it tends to have favourably response..
Acupuncture may well be useful for pain relief, but may not be able to sort out the underlying problem.
What happens if sciatica is left untreated?
There are many people who hold the opinion that Sciatica heals itself, and this view could well be correct once the pain settles down. Sciatica should not be ignored and lifestyle changes should be considered.
Sciatica pain may become more aggressive over time and therefore more difficult to overcome or reduce. Long-term nerve damage may also develop over time. Furthermore, the avoidance of treatment may compromise the health of the spine.
What triggers sciatica?
There are a number of factors that trigger Sciatica – such as the breakdown of discs that provide a cushion between the vertebrae, damage to the wing shaped section of the vertebrae, pregnancy, narrowing of the spinal canal, slipped disc, back damage etc.
Why does sciatica hurt worse at night?
It is a common complaint that Sciatica hurts worse at night. This may be attributed to the time available for the brain to take thinking about this painful condition. Alternatively the pain may well be the result of the natural stress the spine goes through during the day. During the day the intervertebral discs lose moisture thereby causing spinal compression which may increases the pressure on spinal nerve. At night the body is in a reclined, resting position which enables decompression and the return of moisture and height. This process is continual unless the normal behavioural pattern is altered.