Sciatica is a medical problem that affects many people around the world. I can give many symptoms before it starts, and before any treatment of sciatica can be sought. The most common of these is the radiating leg pain: In severe cases, one of the legs can almost completely lose its function. There is actually a simple cause of this problem, 90% of sciatica cases are caused by herniated discs compressing root nerves. If you feel pain while sitting or walking, or even if simple movements cause pain in both your waist and legs, you may also be suffering from sciatica.
The days when bed rest is given for the treatment of sciatica are over but nowadays more active treatment methods are preferred. Surgical operations, which are among the traditional treatments, have now proven to be not as effective as we thought – nearly 30% of patients who have undergone surgery report that the problems start again in a year or two. In other words, there is no data to suggest that surgery is superior to other treatments. It is actually surprising that there is still no clear data on this disease, which affects 2.2% of the general population (*): Sciatica affects the 45-64 age group at most (**) and there is still no consensus on how to treat it effectively.
Osteopathic treatment can be the solution that sciatica patients are looking for: This non-invasive treatment enables patients to regain their quality of life without suffering.
How Osteopathy Can Help With Sciatica
Osteopaths have medical training and are first contact practitioners. This is very important as Osteopaths are always screening patients for appropriate referral. Sometimes sciatica can be caused by some other medical conditions. Osteopaths know the correct questions to ask.
However, they differ from other medical doctors: They receive substantial training on the musculoskeletal system. Knowledge of the musculoskeletal system is of paramount importance in the treatment of diseases that causes back pain, slipped discs, shoulder pain, and sciatic pain. Sciatica is caused by the pressure on your sciatic nerve. This is a very large nerve and it extends from the waist to the heel. Pressure on the nerve anywhere on this “route” causes sciatica pain.
Osteopaths are able to relieve pressure on the nerve through soft tissue massage and joint manipulations. Due to their training, they have the ability to identify the points that cause pain. Osteopaths know where to apply pressure using this information. Osteopathy should not be confused with massage specialists: This treatment, applied by osteopaths, is much different than a general massage. An osteopath achieves success using the following techniques:
- Relieving muscle spasms by applying pressure to the right points on the body
- Manual traction of the lumbar spine
- Gently applied spinal mobilisation
- Relieving the affected joints with the right techniques
- Rehabilitation exercises
Of course, sciatica patients also need to pay attention to their lifestyle and behaviour. Osteopaths help patients in this regard too. For example, they show how to move and how to bear the loads correctly. If you suffer from sciatica pain, osteopaths can help you: Visit your nearest osteopathy centre today.