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Sciatica is a specific pain that originates from the sciatic nerves which each run from one side of the pelvis through the hip and buttocks and down the leg. The Sciatic nerve forms what is effectively an electrical cable to and from the brain. Sciatica is a condition where pain, weakness or altered sensation can be experienced in the buttock, hamstring, calf or foot but stem from the spine, via the Sciatic nerve.


What Causes Sciatica?



Although the cause of Sciatica lies in the spine, not all sufferers will experience back pain and symptoms can be variable. The problem can manifest as back pain with leg pain, or leg pain only. The major cause of Sciatica is a disc prolapse (more commonly known as a 'slipped disc') at the bottom of the back. Other factors however that can cause sciatica include injury to the buttocks, prolonged external pressure on the nerve, pressure from a tight muscle or nearby structure.

Sciatic can be triggered by very small, normal movements like bending over to one side at a bad angle to pick something up, as well from suffering a trauma like falling off a ladder and landing on your back. What happens in all cases is that the sciatic nerve is compressed and consequentially causes you pain.


What are the symptoms/effects of Sciatica?



The most common symptoms of sciatica is pain which can range from mild to debilitating. Other symptoms include weakness, numbness or tingling that generally begins in the lower spine and radiates down through the hips and buttocks and down the leg.

Additional more serious symptoms may include:
  • Impaired circulation.
  • Numbness of muscles, or a feeling of weakness, along the nerve pathway in the leg or foot.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Difficulty in moving and controlling the leg.

Diagnosis of Sciatica



Diagnosis of sciatica can be made by a physiotherapist or a doctor who will conduct a thorough assessment of your back and legs.


Physiotherapy Treatment for Sciatica



Physiotherapy treatment is very effective in the treatment of Sciatica.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will relieve nerve root compression and prevent further episodes of sciatic pain by teaching correct postural techniques, and exercises to correct any muscle imbalance in the spine.

Common treatments Manchester Physio use to treat Sciatica include:
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Stretching
  • Postural advice
  • Massage therapy including trigger point techniques
  • Acupuncture
  • Heat therapy
  • Core stability exercise
Your treatment program at Manchester Physio will be suited to your needs and lifestyle to ensure you make significant long term improvements and continue with everyday activities you enjoy will less pain and discomfort.


For more information about how physiotherapy can help with Sciatica, or to book an assessment please call 0161 883 0077.




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