One of the most common types of leg pain is sciatica, which is a Latin word that roughly translates into back leg pain. The discomfort is typically caused when the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body, is pinched in your lower back. The sciatic nerve travels down your lower back and along the back of each of your legs after making its way through your buttocks. Pain in this nerve usually results when a bulging or herniated disc places pressure on it.
Sciatica pain can range from annoying to debilitating and it generally occurs in just one side of your buttocks and leg. It can be a sharp or tingling sensation down the back of the leg which makes it hard to stand up and/or move the leg. It can cause extreme pain and discomfort because of inflammation, but the good news is that Sciatica can usually be successfully treated with physiotherapy and it is a common condition we treat here at FIT Physiotherapy.
Our team of experienced therapists at FIT Physiotherapy will be able to relieve both the inflammation and pressure on the nerve’s root. The goal of our physiotherapists is to restore your regular movement, reduce the pain and tension, and strengthen any weakened muscles. Older patients may suffer from sciatica due to other conditions such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, bone disease and certain types of injuries.
Diagnosis of Sciatica
The sciatic nerve can also cause pain due to pressure put on it from simple daily activities such as sitting awkwardly, Piriformis syndrome, herniated discs, spinal misalignment, poor posture, vertebral dysfunction, poor sleeping positions, poor bending habits, and a poor lifting technique. It will be the job of FIT Physiotherapy to diagnose your condition and pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.
The therapist will thoroughly review your medical history and will give you orthopedic, neurological, and spinal examinations to find the root of the pain. This could also include special diagnostic imaging procedures such as MRI, and CT scans as well as good old fashioned X-rays. A posture pro scan could also be called for during the diagnosis.
Once the therapist has found the cause of the sciatica pain he or she will put together an effective program to treat it. Since the pain is caused by pressure on the nerve, the treatment will involve relieving the pressure. One of the best ways to achieve this is to reduce the pressure which is the result of poorly-moving spinal joints. In addition, muscular tension in your buttock, lower spine, and leg will also need to be reduced.
Some of the techniques used at FIT Physiotherapy include ice, heat, shockwave therapy, trigger-point therapy, massage therapy, spinal mobilizations, electrical stimulation, acupuncture, and ultrasound. In addition, it’s often a good idea to stretch tight muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Our therapists will also offer advice on how you can minimize irritation and pressure on your sciatic nerve. The therapist will design a stretching-exercise program which you can perform at home as this will help aid and speed up the recovery process.
If you suffer from sciatica pain it’s recommended that you visit a medical professional as soon as possible since the best recovery results are achieved when the symptoms are found and treated as early as possible. Don’t let sciatica affect your daily routine and cause unnecessary pain any longer than you have to. Physiotherapy can help relieve the pain and also stop it from returning, contact us today to schedule an appointment.