Can sciatica be cured?

Friday, October 21, 2022

Can sciatica be cured?

‘Sciatica’ is a term coined for irritation of the sciatic nerve which runs down the length of the leg into the foot. Commonly, it is attributed to any pain or symptom that runs down the back of the leg or into the buttock but there are a few things to consider when asking how do you know if you have sciatica?

What causes sciatica?

True sciatica, or lumbar radiculopathy, is the encroachment of the nerve root as it leaves the spinal column in the low back. The cause of this encroachment can be due to a number of reasons, which may include: 

1. intervertebral disc herniation, protrusion or extrusion. 

2. a change in the shape of the bony space encircling the nerve root (peripheral stenosis); a change in shape of the spinal canal (central stenosis) 

What does sciatica feel like?

True radiculopathy has a few hallmark signs which include but are not limited to:

1. pain, burning, numbness or tingling which travels below the level of the knee or to the foot

2. leg pain is worse than back pain

3. very poor sleep patterns & difficulty falling asleep due to pain

4. loss of sensation, increased sensation to light touch, reduction in reflexes, reduction in strength or function

5. severe pain which is not affected by standard pain medication

Radicular pain can be typically described by:

1. pain that is worse in the back than the leg 

2. pain doesn’t travel past the knee

3. no loss of sensation, reflexes, or strength 

How do I get my sciatica to go away?

Evidence shows that physiotherapy is one of the most effective methods of combating nerve irritation & radiculopathy throughout the body. Physiotherapy involves settling down the symptoms & progressively improving neurodynamics, pelvic & lumbar control as well as lifting & bending mechanics.

Nerve pain is scary & overwhelming due to the persistent & unusual sensations that may accompany it. Fortunately, the outcomes are positive & most people experience a full recovery without the need for surgery. In the very small amount of people who do not respond to conservative management, surgery or injection therapy may be indicated with positive outcomes also. 

Please get in touch with us today so one of our welcoming and empathic Physiotherapists can help with your symptoms of sciatic nerve pain and help you live a life with less limits. 

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