hello world!
Published: May 6, 2021


What is sciatica?

The term sciatica describes a set of symptoms which result from the sciatic nerve being irritated by an underlying condition, it is not a diagnosis in itself.

With sciatica the pain travels along the path of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body.

The sciatic nerve begins from the nerve roots in your lumbar spinal cord in the low back, then passes through your buttocks and down the back of your leg and into the calf. It usually only affects one side of the body.

When pain radiates along a nerve, its often referred to as a radiculopathy. In the case of sciatica, for it to be a true radiculopathy the symptoms must extend below the knee.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

  • Low back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Pain shooting down the leg
  • Pins and needles down the leg
  • Posture induced symptoms
  • Weakness, numbness in the leg or foot
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Pain worsening on coughing or sneezing

What should you do?

Sciatica is often very painful and can be debilitating. It is best managed with lifestyle advice, exercise, stretches and of course physical therapy.

When experiencing a sudden episode, I suggest ice packing for 15 minutes at a time, at hourly intervals. Try to keep active and mobile by gently moving and stretching within tolerance levels. Do not sit or stand in one position for more than 20 minutes at a time, if you can help it. I also advise avoiding heavy lifting, and walking on uneven surfaces such as the beach or cliff paths.

Finding the right treatment for you depends on understanding the root cause of the symptoms. Treatment can help significantly reduce the levels of pain, increase flexibility and mobility and stabilise the tissue.

I strongly advise if you are experiencing any of symptoms above to get checked by a healthcare professional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram