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Sciatica is so common that almost everyone has heard of it. In fact we frequent hear from patients that they think they have sciatica. Anywhere else in the body and people just say "sore knee" or "sore shoulder" but when it comes to sciatica everyone seems to know the name of the nerve. This is because it is a really large nerve and frequently causes issues.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a painful syndrome caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve also runs deep through the buttock and down the leg. Sciatica can range from a dull ache to an incapacitating pain. Symptoms may be constant or intermittent, depending on activities or time of day.
Osteopathy & sciatica
Osteopathic treatment for sciatica may be useful in relieving the symptoms you are feeling.
Osteopaths will usually conduct a full musculoskeletal and orthopaedic examination to find the true underlying cause of the sciatica. Osteopaths treatment of the related joints, muscles, ligaments or tendons tries to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can often resolve quickly with the appropriate management and self-care.
Symptoms of sciatica
Symptoms of sciatica may include:
Causes of sciatica
The pain associated with sciatica can be caused by a number of underlying conditions. These may include:
Anatomy of the sciatic nerve
The anatomy of the sciatic nerve is really interesting (well to us osteopaths anyway). The sciatic nerve is one of only two nerves in the whole body that runs over the back of a joint. What do we mean by this? Well if you look at most nerves they have evolved to run where they will be protected if you bend a joint, but the sciatic nerve runs over the back of your hip joint which means it is put on stretch every time you bend. This makes it prone to injury and is one of the reasons it causes so much strife.