Sciatica or sciatic neuralgia is a commoncondition in which one of the spinal nerve roots of the sciatic nerve is compressed resultingin lower back, buttock and leg pain. Sciatic nerve is a large nerve derived from 5 spinalnerve roots: L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. It runs from the lumbar spine through the buttockdown the leg and the foot on the posterior aspect. There is one sciatic nerve on eachside of the body. Typically, only one side of the body is affected.A typical sciatica pain is described as a sharp shooting pain in the lower back, downthe buttock, thigh and leg on one side of the body. There may also be numbness, burningand tingling sensations. The pain can get
worse with sitting, moving, sneezing, or coughing.The patterns of pain depend on which nerve root is compressed, and follow the dermatomedistribution. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniatedspinal disc. The spinal disc is a soft elastic cushion that sits in between the vertebraeof the spine. With age, the discs become rigid and may crack, the gellike center of thedisc may protrude out and become a herniation outside the normal boundaries of the disc.Disc herniation presses on the nerve root as it exits the spine.In majority of the cases the condition resolves by itself after a few weeks of rest and conservativetreatment. Pain relief, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs and muscle relaxants may be prescribed.Stretching exercises and physical therapy may be recommended.Surgery may be needed if the pain doesn't go away after 3 months or more of conservativetreatments. The herniated disc may be removed in a procedure called discectomy. Or, in anotherprocedure called laminotomy, part of the bone of the vertebrae may be cut to make room forthe nerve.
What is Sciatica Can Acupuncture Help
Hi, my name is Katika and I'm an Acupuncturist at The Family Wellness Center on Sydney's Northern Beaches and in this tutorial I'm going to talk to you about Sciatica. Sciatica is the irritation of theSciatic Nerve and and this nerve is the thickest and longestnerve we have in our entire body
Its starts at the Spinal Nerves in the lower back and runsdown through the gluteal, the hamstring and into the calf. People who might experience Sciatica could be desk workers, people that spenda lot of time driving, so truck drivers or people in the car for several hours at a time. Manual labourers and even people who are infrequentlifters. They might have lifted something that was too heavy. Or theymay have lifted it incorrectly,
that will cause extra tension in thelower back and set off the irritation of the Sciaticnerve. The three major signs that come with Sciatica are back pain,referred pain and limited range of motion.When clients come into the with Sciatica they might be hobbling in, holdingtheir back because they're in a bit of pain. They will also find itdifficult to get comfortable so they might find it difficult to sit or stand.
They might find they wake up thatway in the morning, so overnight theirback has stiffened up or the muscles around the gluteal orhamstring have tightened and in the morning they wake up feeling quite sore and tense. So I would start with treating thelower back pain and just assessing what's going on in the lower back I would use acupuncture and massage to relax, release and soften the muscles in the lower back. Often there would be muscle guarding in
this area and guarding is when the muscles arecontracted really tight to protect that area and prevent furtherinjury. So I would use Acupuncture, massage to relax and release the trigger pointsand the tension along that referred pain pathway downthrough the back of the leg, if the sciatic pain is in the hamstring. Or if they'refeeling it more in the side of the
leg then I would check out the ITB, and look at the trigger points there.Thirdly, I'd look at prescribing some stretchesthat might help increase their range of motion and this will help free up the back andthe leg and relax the muscles that might be irritating or pinching the sciatic nerve. Ifyou'd like to know more about Sciatica and Acupuncture and you're in Sydney