What Is Sciatica?
The word ‘sciatica‘ literally means ‘pain down the back of the leg’. It is a common complaint in adults. Sciatica is the result of a neurological problem in the lower back, or an entrapped nerve in the pelvis or buttock, and presents with any or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the buttock
- Pain down the back of the leg
- Leg numbness
- Muscular weakness
- Gait dysfunction
- Sensory impairment
- Sensory disturbance
- Hot and cold, tingling or burning sensations in the legs
- Reflex impairment
Whats Causes Sciatica?
Common causes of sciatica include:
- Disc herniation
- Spinal degeneration
- Facet joint injuries
- Piriformis syndrome
- Sacroilliac joint dysfunction
The most common dysfunction stems from underactive and weak glutes, and weakness in the intrinsic muscles that internally and externally rotate the hip. This is often coupled with tightness of the hip flexor muscles. Regardless of the level of sporting activity, this muscular imbalance is usually deeply set into the body from childhood due to our modern sedentary lifestyle, and needs to be trained out of the body in the correct manner to ensure a full recovery.
To resolve sciatica and other related pains in the hips and lower back, common sense tells us that we must target the underlying dysfunction that lead to the symptoms, i.e. ‘treat the cause not just the symptoms’.
I use soft tissue therapy to deeply release tension in the muscles around the hips, which removes symptoms and restores function. I following this with a gradual stretching and strengthening program tailored to the individual, which ensures a full and lasting recovery.
In the below video I explain in some detail what sciatica is, and also demonstrate some effective exercises to find relief.