Sciatica affects millions and can be anything from a little niggle to utterly debilitating. Despite being such a common problem there is a lot of vagueness surrounding the topic. For a little clarity here are our top ten facts:
1) Sciatica is a set of symptoms not a condition – these are pain, tingling, numbness or weakness starting in the low back and moving to the sciatic nerve located in either leg.
2) Location is revealing – the five nerve roots from your lumbar spine join together to form the sciatic nerve. Symptoms are usually dictated by which of the the 5 nerve roots is compressed.
3) Possible underlying conditions include a lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, lumbar stenosis, muscle strains, pregnancy and many more.
4) The underlying condition determines the treatment plan, Chiropractic care can help with most of these.
5) Multiple symptoms can be experienced simultaneously – if several nerve roots are pinched at the same time
6) There are many terms for sciatica eg lumbar radiculopathy or pinched nerve pain
7) Long term results from surgery and non surgical treatment are similar. Quicker pain relief is often found with surgery but after a year both surgical and non surgical treatment, such as Chiropractic, produce similar results.
8) Rarely certain sciatic symptoms require urgent medical intervention. As a general rule if both legs are involved or the bladder or bowel are affected immediate surgery may be required.
9) Not all leg pain is sciatica -for example piriformis muscle dysfunction or sacroiliac joint sprains can at times produce leg pain.
10) Relief comes quickly in most cases, 6-12 weeks without surgery.
The Barron Clinic
From the team at Barron Chiropractic Clinic - celebrating 30 years of providing natural healthcare to the people of Walton-on-Thames