10 MAR

What is it?
The term Sciatica refers to painful sensations felt along the route of the sciatic nerve due to compression or irritation. This nerve originates in the lower back at the levels of L4-S3 and then travels underneath the piriformis muscle as it travels down the leg and into the foot.

What causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is usually caused via compression of the nerve roots as they exit the Intervertebral Foramen due to a disc injury.
There are other causes of sciatica including:
– Spinal Stenosis
– Infection
– Abnormal growth in the spine.

Occasionally the Piriformis muscle is involved. Piriformis syndrome is a condition that mimics sciatica, where the piriformis muscle spasms and put pressure directly onto the nerve as it passes underneath the muscle.

Can Sciatica be treated?
There are several different treatment options available for sciatic pain. These range from conservative options such as mobilisations and manipulations at our clinic, to prescribed medications and surgical intervention.
In 2013 Lewis et Al, completed a systematic review and discovered that spinal manipulation was AS effective as surgical intervention, whilst being far less intrusive and having faster recovery rates.
Further to this, Morland 2010, and Visser in 2013 both determined spinal manipulation was the preferred choice for the treatment and positive outcome of sciatic pain when compared to physiotherapy and surgery.

So don’t just deal with the problem, solve it!

Dr Hazel Baillie
Doctor of chiropractic

References
R.A. Lewis et al. Comparative clinical effectiveness of management strategies for sciatica: systematic review and network meta-analyses. The Spine Journal  (2013)

McMorland et al, Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica?
A prospective randomised clinical study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 577
Volume 33, Number 8

L. H. Visser et al, Treatment of the sacroiliac joint in patients with leg pain: a randomized-controlled trial. Eur Spine J (2013) 22:2310–231