Sciatica – Is It Really?

A lot of people claim to have sciatica pain. What is it? How does it happen? How do you get rid of it? What is the best sciatic treatment?

People feel pain shooting down their leg and instantly claim they have sciatic nerve problems. Do they really? Or is it the new flavour of the month, the latest thing to have? I hope to de-bunk some of the mysteries of this condition… or confirm them!

The Sciatic nerve, otherwise known as your sciatica is a thick, long, deep nerve originating from the lumbo-sacral region of the lower back. This nerve passes through muscles in the gluteus region and travels down the back of the leg, hamstrings, dividing as it goes and finishes at the toes. It is the thickest nerve in the body. As the sciatic nerve gets to the back of the knee, it divides into the common Peroneal Nerve and the Tibial Nerve, these run down the back of the lower leg or calf and into the foot.

The sciatic nerve passes through and under and over so many muscles, tendons and joints that it can be confusing what is actual nerve pain and what is muscle pain, tendonitis or joint pain. As your Myotherapist I will need to put you through some uncomfortable range of movements to test what is what. Sometimes your sciatic pain is from tight muscles, this may be due to you sitting most of your day, not stretching before or after work, or not moving enough. Commonly a lot of people suffer sciatic nerve pain due to an old or on going back injury. This should be covered in your health history information you fill out at your initial appointment. If you have any reports from x-rays, MRI’s, CAT scans or the like, please bring them with you or forward them on at a later date for me to keep in your records.

In treating most back injuries and sciatica pain I will start with deep soft tissue release, massage, trigger point therapy (always let me know how you are during this process). I will possibly do cupping, to stretch the muscles away from the painful site and increase blood flow to the area. I may ask if you’re ok with dry needling. Please read the pages on my website for more details of cupping and dry needling.

I may refer you to other practitioners for other back care requirements as there are a few things a Myotherapist can’t do. It will be a suggestion and it’s up to you to take up these options or not.

During my treatments we will have conversations about general health and wellbeing, I will ask you question about any routines in your life. This will help me format a rehab routine for you, including another appointment with me, stretches and information about posture, movement and work situations. Generally if the sciatic nerve is effected by tight muscles you will be given stretches to do every day and other ideas to help you keep moving in the right direction for when you’re at work. Most people I treat get great relief from deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy.

I hope to see you on my table and help you get rid of this terrible pain in the backside!