Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatica nerve or the nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve, as they leave the spine. Several structures are capable of compressing the nerve, however, it is most commonly caused by disc bulges otherwise known as protrusion, herniation, extrusion and sequestration.
Numbness, tingling, burning or sharp shooting pain, weakness of the muscles in the leg and foot. Typically, symptoms are referred from the back and are felt in the buttock or hip, down the thigh and below the knee. Pain and other symptoms may be constant or intermittent and are generally aggravated by forward bending movements.
A comprehensive examination will typically detect loss of muscle strength in certain leg and foot movements, reduced reflexes, pain when the nerve is stretched (straight leg raise or slump test) and MRI will demonstrate a disc protrusion with compression of the associated nerve root.
When the disc is the cause, patients will typically have a history of lower back pain and stiffness, however, many have not experienced pain as severe as the current episode. Disc problems generally result from years of poor posture and inappropriate lifting techniques. They can also develop from car accidents, falls and other traumatic events.
At Spine Smart we employ a heavily researched method of assessment and treatment known as the McKenzie Method. This advanced area of training is only available to health professionals who already hold a degree in physiotherapy, medicine or other allied health area, and is taught in 30 countries worldwide.
The McKenzie Method assessment is aimed at identifying a movement or posture, that when repeated “TURNS OFF THE PAIN” or brings it out of the leg and up into the back, to it’s origin. When this occurs it’s a very strong indicator that your sciatica can be treated quickly and safely by YOU. That’s right, by applying that single movement that makes your pain move out of your leg, you are taking pressure off the nerve and treating the underlying issue.
At times, we also employ other methods such as; acupuncture, dry needling, myotherapy and massage to help speed your recovery.
To find out if you’re sciatica can be successfully treated,
call Spine Smart today! (03) 9509 8925