What is Sciatica
Sciatica is the irritation of the sciatic nerve which results in pain, pins and needles or numbness down the leg from the buttock to the ankle and foot. It is often described as a toothache in the leg. The sciatic nerve originates from the three lower joints of the lumbar spine and it is here that the nerve roots can be compressed.
The treatment and prognosis might vary depending on whether the nerve is compressed by disc or pony material. The piriformis muscle in the but it can also be involved in sciatica patience.
Who is affected by sciatica?
Sciatica can affect anyone but it is more common in the 20 to 50 year age group as the discs are still wet. As we age the disc material becomes harder and is therefore less likely to bulge. However sciatica can also be as a result of osteo arthritic changes in the lumbar spine which is more common in the 40+ age-group.
Treatment for sciatica
The cause of sciatica (which is a symptom rather than a diagnosis) will determine the most suitable form of treatment.
- Osteopathic treatment can help increase joint mobility in the lower back and ease muscle tension.
- Lumbar spine hydrocortisone injections
- IDD therapy can be useful to help reduce inflammation.
- IDD therapy can help patients with disc related sciatica.
- Surgery to remove disc material can be used as a last resort.