Sciatica 5

Physiotherapy

Sciatica 1

Manipulation

Sciatica 6

Acupuncture & Dry Needling

Sciatica 2

Specialist Back Pain Doctors

Sciatica 3

Spinal Injections

Sciatica 4

X-Ray Guided Injection Theatres

What is Sciatica?

For most people, their first experience of Sciatica is one of severe pain shooting down their leg. This is not always due to a significant accident or injury and may sometimes be after a relatively minor event such as coughing or sneezing. This pain is caused by the bulging of one of your inter-vertebral discs, causing compression of a nerve root in the lower back. This pinched nerve, together with four others, makes up the sciatic nerve that supplies sensation to a portion of the leg or foot.

People often describe this as a slipped disc. This is a misleading description, because what actually happens is that the pulpy contents of the disc bulge out pressing on one of the spinal nerves. The bulge itself can be painful and cause localised back pain, often referred to as discogenic pain. If it presses on a spinal nerve as it exits the spinal canal, this pain can be felt in a more distant area such as the arm, leg, hand or foot.

Pain from a compressed nerve root can be very severe indeed and may well build up after the acute injury and back pain associated with disc damage. As well as the pain, the compressed nerve can swell causing problems with altered sensation and even muscle weakness. If this weakness is getting worse, you must consult your doctor as longer term damage may never recover. Any alteration in how your bladder or bowels are functioning is also an indication that an urgent medical review is required.

With rest and gentle stretches, a significant proportion of patients will find relief from their sciatic pain. Physical therapies such as Manipulation, Acupuncture and massage are performed by trained practitioners, such as Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors and may speed recovery. In very severe or long lasting cases, the use of spinal injections can provide rapid relief from the pain. These injections include caudal epidurals and nerve root blocks to help settle the inflammation. There is more information about these in the injections section.