Sciatica is a very common term that is used to describe symptoms affecting the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts in the lumbar spine and extends down the back of both legs, but usually sciatic pain will tend to affect only one leg at a time. Many people when they seek treatment may be aware they are experiencing sciatica, but not know what exactly is causing the problem. This is because sciatica is not a condition in its own right, it’s caused as a result of compression onto the nerve, usually caused by a disc bulge or herniation.
Symptoms with sciatica can vary depending on how it’s affecting you. You may experience pain, a burning sensation, weakness or numbing anywhere from the lower back, down the buttocks, legs or feet – even into the toes. Despite the pain appearing down the legs at times, this is actually what is called ‘referred pain’. Although this may be strange at first, as we traditionally always associate pain with the area we’ve injured, but it’s relatively common to experience this with spinal conditions. This is because usually the spine carries signals from every part of the body to your brain, so if for example you experience an injury to your spine where signals are controlled for your hands, it can usually cause referred symptoms to occur in that area of the body. In the case of sciatica, this is common to experience because a lot of cases of spinal compression occur either in the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine).
It’s important to pay attention to disc problems to see what activities in particular are causing the symptoms to become worse. Generally activities such as bending forwards, lifting anything, or something as simple as putting your socks on in the morning, these can all compress the spine which can cause a flare-up of symptoms.
Most of these basic activities can be altered slightly to be performed in a better way for your spine, but if the problem is beginning to affect you to that extent, or if it’s affecting you at all, it’s best to start to look for a form of treatment to combat the problem. Visiting your local osteopath or chiropractor will be able to shed some light on the underlying cause of the sciatica, as well as recommend a treatment plan.
At The Mayfair Clinic we offer three different types of treatment that can be used in some capacity to help alleviate the pain, and treat the problem in the long-term. We complete an examination with you initially in order to have a clear understanding of the problem you’re facing, if necessary this may include x-ray imaging in order to measure the curves in your spine, the disc space, and the overall condition of your spine. Once that has given us a clear view of your spinal health, we can then use our innovative combination of therapies to treat the problem.
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