Diagnosis of Sciatica and Sciatic Pain

If your symptoms indicate that you may be suffering from Sciatica, we’ll test your back, hips and legs, for example reflexes and leg raising test, muscle strength, walking ability, and sensation in your limbs. We will also take a detailed case history to determine if your sciatica may be the result of a previous injury, a past surgery, emotional stress, or some other reason. Depending on your symptoms, it may be recommended that you have further tests such as an x-ray or a CT scan (in severe cases, or if the pain continues for an extended period, this may show that surgery is necessary).

Initial Sciatica treatment

Osteopathy is highly effective for treating the acute pain, severe pain, and chronic pain related to sciatica, as well as playing an important part in preventing further episodes in the future.

The key aim of osteopathic treatment in the first instance is to reduce pain by relieving pressure from the sciatic nerve through decreasing inflammation in the affected areas.

This may involve massage techniques on the soft tissues to help release pressure, along with manipulation and mobilisation techniques to improve the range of motion in your lower back.

Osteopathy is based on the principal that the best way to relieve pain and other symptoms is by treating the body as a whole, and that the self-healing process is fostered by improving the health of many different but interrelated components within the body. Because of this, at the same time as your initial treatment, an osteopath will also be working to further clarify the root cause of the sciatic pain to ensure this is treated correctly too.

Ongoing treatment of Sciatica

Your treatment plan will depend on your exact situation and evaluation, and will be tailored to your needs. Typically, osteopathic treatments may include a range of hands-on techniques such as myofascial release therapy, massage therapy, or counter-strain treatments.

For persistent (or ‘chronic’) sciatica, it may be recommended that you undertake a structured exercise programme, perhaps initially under supervision, involving specific sciatica stretches. Any recommended exercise will gentle and not put a strain on your back, and swimming is often ideal because the water supports your weight, and therefore only small amounts of strain are placed on your joints.

How to prevent Sciatica

There are some simple steps you can take to minimise your risk of a back injury such as a slipped disc that could lead to sciatica, including:

  • Making sure you have a good posture when sitting and standing
  • Staying active through taking regular exercise
  • Using safe techniques when lifting heavy objects
  • Sitting correctly when using a computer, or standing correctly if you use a standing desk
  • Proper stretching before (‘warming up’) and after (‘warming down’ or ‘limbering down’) your exercise
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight
  • Simple, regular sciatica exercises to improve flexibility

In Part 1 of this blog post last month, we looked at the symptoms of sciatica and the causes of sciatic pain.

Are you suffering from Sciatica or experiencing Sciatic pain?

Stephanie Witts at The Pain Relief Clinic is a registered Osteopath and an expert in the treatment of sciatica and other disorders. Find out more about The Pain Relief Clinic and Stephanie Witts, and if you’re looking for an osteopath in Hassocks or locally in West Sussex, why not get in touch today, there’s no need to suffer in silence.

Call The Pain Relief Clinic in Hassocks 01273 04 78 81.