Sciatica is a painful condition that occurs when pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve, which exits your spinal cord and passes through the buttock, then into the back of the thigh and leg.
Sciatic nerve pain symptoms include (but are not limited to):
Sciatica nerve pain can be difficult to manage, as the physical symptoms can be very distracting and can limit one’s range of movement.
Sciatica pain can be caused by a number of different conditions, including spinal disc herniation, pregnancy, spinal stenosis, and rare conditions such as piriformis syndrome (where the nerve runs through the piriformis muscle instead of beneath it, or the muscle spasms/shortens, placing pressure on the nerve).
However, it is usually possible to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve without resorting to invasive techniques. This is where an osteopath can help.
Your Osteopaths, Chiropractors & Physiotherapists may recommend a number of different exercises, such as swimming and Pilates, which relieve pressure on the nerve whilst strengthening the structures of the back, hip and legs which will provide long term relief.
They will also recommend occupational changes, such as standing up to stretch at certain intervals if you work at a desk job.
Manual therapy methods may also be effective for reducing the pressure on the sciatic nerves; gentle stretching, mobilisation and manual manipulation may be utilised.