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Pain Relief »

Sciatica

Initial consultation with your GP is always advised to rule out any serious underlying causes!

Sciatica is an inflammatory condition of the sciatic nerve. This spinal nerve may become compressed causing the pain; however causes are varied among which are a herniated disc, annular tear (tear in the intevertabrel disc, spinal stenosis caused by narrowing of the spinal canal, and compression from the piriformis muscle.

Where pain radiating down the leg is greater than that in the back, this is generally associated a herniated disc is normally the culprit. Muscle spasm and lack of a lumbar curve in the back may also be noted. This involves the disc protruding from between the vertebrae and impinging upon spinal nerves. Pain may be worse upon sitting for long periods, leaning and anything that causes strain, striding out and doing activities that stretch the hamstring.

With annular tears back pain is the primary symptom and again is exacerbated with stretching the hamstring with a straight leg. Where muscle related disease is the cause, worsening in cold weather and morning pain and muscle stiffness may be experienced alongside pain in the in the buttock and thigh area.

Where spinal stenosis has affected the lumbar region of the spine pain may develop in the back and legs when walking, increasing also a distance is increased. Leg weakness and numbness may also be present, even in the absence of any pain. Pain may be relieved with spinal flexion, (bending forward).

Where the piriformis is involved pain will become more prevalent where the thigh is internally rotated. Bed rest is very rarely an effective treatment for sciatica; however twisting, bending and leaning activities and long periods of sitting or standing that may aggravate the condition are best avoided or at least reduced.

The good news is that sciatica in many cases responds very well to massage. Of course we canít cure a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, but it is a very effective tool in dealing with pain management. Both with the oils we use and the massage technique used. Working in and around the route of the problem will help free up the muscles and break down any adhesions which may be restricting the nerve.



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