Sciatica is usually the name given when the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed in some way, causing pain down the back of the leg where the sciatic nerve runs. There are lots of different causes of sciatica but the main ones are either a disc pressing on one of the nerve roots or piriformis syndrome where the piriformis muscle presses on the sciatic nerve.
Here is a picture showing where the sciatic nerve runs and why pain, tingling or numbness can be felt all the way down to the foot.
A disc would affect a nerve as it leaves the spine and depending on how much the disc is bulging effects how far down the leg the pain is felt. Discs can also cause weakness in the muscles and the loss of reflexes. If you ever experience pain down both legs with problems going to the toilet you must seek medical attention as soon as possible as it could be something called cauda equina.
This next diagram shows where the piriformis is and how close it lies to the sciatic nerve. Therefore if this muscle is in spasm it is more likely to affect the sciatic nerve.
If you suffer from pain in the back or leg why not give us a call and see if we can help. We can do some orthopaedic tests to help us work out where your pain is coming from and the bast way to treat it. You will then know how to manage your pain and how to prevent it coming back with advice on the best exercises to do along with treatment such as massage if a muscle like the piriformis is involved or treatment to reduce the inflammation in the spine.
To book your free chat call 01763 878087.
This diagram shows how when you have a slipped disc or sciatica what actually happens is tiny tears occur in the outer fibres of the disc which means the inner jelly called the nucleus pulposus is pushed outwards towards the sciatic nerve. The disc is not normally seen by the body but when it bulges out the body then attacks it a foreign creating a lot of inflammation which puts extra pressure on the nerve. It depends how far the disc has bulged out as to how bad the symptoms are and how long they may take to go.
If you are experiencing pain down your leg with any tingling or numbness it is a good idea to see a chiropractor or osteopath as there are lots of tests they can do to determine how bad the problem is and whether they can help or if you need further investigation such as an MRI scan. A lot of the time treatment can really help ease the pain but it usually takes quite a long time when the disc is bulging out. Long term Pilates exercises can really help to stabilise the spine and prevent further episodes.
If you would like to book a free chat with one of our practitioners give us a call on 01763 878087, we’d be happy to help. Or why not like our Facebook page for up to date advice.