Sciatica is a condition that causes irritation or pain affecting the buttock, back of the thigh and sometimes travels as far as the calf and foot. The sensation of sciatica can range from a gentle tingle to numbness, a ‘tired’ feeling in the thigh, deep aching pain or sharp pain.
If you are experiencing pain that begins in your lower back or buttock and radiates into one or both of your legs, it may be sciatica.
The name ‘Sciatica’ comes from the sciatic nerve, which is the cause of the pain in these cases. The Sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and travels down the buttocks, along the back of each thigh, calf and to the foot. Its job is to control the movement of many of the muscles in your buttocks and legs. It also sends information about the sensations you experience back up to your brain.
Causes of Sciatica
There are many possible causes of sciatica, but generally speaking, pain or changed sensation in the buttocks or thighs can be caused by:
- Lumbar disc prolapse, which can compress spinal nerve roots and cause radiating pain
- Postural problems that cause stretching or compression of the nerve
- Tension or trigger points in muscles of the buttock or thigh
- Sciatic pain can be a constant issue once it starts, and in our experience, rarely goes away on its own.
Goals of Treatment
- Reduced pain and discomfort
- Decreased inflammation in muscle tissue
- Improved posture and range of motion
- Improved flexibility
- Increased muscle tone and strength
These outcomes can be achieved in different ways for different people, and the most effective treatment depends upon the cause of your specific condition. Therefore, it’s important to uncover the specific cause of your sciatic pain before coming up with a treatment plan that’s individual for you.
Methods of Treatment
Our approach to sciatic pain begins with a comprehensive assessment by our Chiropractor, Osteopath or Myotherapist. We can arrange a brief chat with one of our therapists over the phone to gather some more information and point you in the direction of recovery. Be assured that with many different practitioners under one roof, we can help you get the most suitable treatment for your case right away.
We may also suggest co-management of your condition by – for example – a Chiropractor, to get your pelvic joints moving better, and a Myotherapist, to give muscular relief. We will work with you to help you make informed decisions to get you back to optimal health.
If you’re looking for more information to decide on what treatment is best for you, this handy guide outlines the differences between the major forms of musculoskeletal therapy.