Sciatica is a general term for nerve related leg pain. Sciatica can be extremely painful and is frequently accompanied by symptoms of weakness and altered sensation (numbness, pins-and-needles, burning). There are many different causes of nerve irritation which can lead to these symptoms, which are frequently related to problems within the lower back or pelvis.
Osteopaths are highly trained to allow them to diagnose different causes of sciatica. They are also able to diagnose other conditions that may present with similar symptoms. An Osteopath will diagnose by taking a detailed history of your problem, examining your posture and movements, and by feeling for any muscle tightness or movement restrictions. If the Osteopath feels that you need any further investigations into your symptoms than they are able to refer you for these.
Once a diagnosis has been made, an Osteopath can provide you with treatment that is specific to the cause of your symptoms, and to you as a person.
Some of the types of treatments that are frequently used by Osteopaths include:
- Stretching and massage
- Articulation, manipulation, and traction (separation) to the joints
- Balancing techniques for the ligaments and tissues
- Assessment and treatment of mechanical issues which may be contributing to your problem
- Prescription of exercises which are specific to you and your condition
- Advice on posture, general exercise, and lifestyle
- Kinesiology taping
The aim of treatment is to work with your body to reduce compression or irritation to the nerves that are causing your pain, helping you to get back to normal as quickly as possible.