Sciatica is the symptom of pain down the leg which is experienced due to a low back problem. The sciatic nerve starts at the low back which gradually nerves down the buttock and branches out through the back of the leg to the foot. Corporate issues resulting in sciatica consist of a herniated disc, stenosis or narrowing of the nerve space, tightness in the hip, or misalignment of the pelvis. Sciatica symptoms also consists of pain, numbness, tingling, cramping, burning, and weakness in the muscles of the involved leg.
There are many techniques/forms of treatment that may help which physiotherapists do/recommend. Treatments include McKenzie-based mechanical diagnosis and therapy, muscle energy techniques, mobilisations, spinal stabilisation and core strengthening exercises, nerve slides/glides, or traction. Frequently a lot of people do respond to moving in a firm direction. Certain people with sciatica feel better with exercises moving in a backwards bending position, some in a bending forward position. Sometimes exercising in a neutral spine position is essential. In certain cases there are patients who respond better to rotating or shifting the hips sideways than others. The greatest therapy treatment for someone with sciatica differs significantly from person to person secondary to the many reasons the sciatica may be present. Therapists tend not to take a diagnosis of sciatica and know which exercises or manual therapy to provide someone immediately. They have to do an evaluation to understand how each person will best respond to which treatment method. All patients are unique in different ways with their pain and presentation so each treatment must address each patient’s needs.
There are a variety of things you can do to help reduce difficult sciatica symptoms and pain. Such as remaining as active as possible, using hot or cold compresses, and taking simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen as well as walking. You should always remain physically active as it is very essential. Simple exercises, such as walking and gentle stretching, can benefit and reduce the relentlessness of your symptoms and strengthen the muscles that support your back.
Resting in bed can provide some temporary pain relief, prolonged bed rest is frequently reflected upon which is unnecessary and unhelpful.
Taking time off work due to sciatica is normal but you should aim to return to work as soon as you can as this will help you keep active.