Sciatica – Scourge of the Active, Aged and Sedentary

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Sciatic nerve pain is far more common than most people think, producing a sharp, stabbing pain that radiates through the leg, hip and lower buttocks. The most frequent cause is a bone spur or herniated disk located on the spine and Fairfield Physiotherapy offers multiple therapy methods to help alleviate the pain.

The “electric shock” pain sensation is caused when nerves are compressed. Pain is the usual result, but problems with the sciatic nerve can also cause a burning, tingling or sensation of numbness. Those are symptoms that can degenerate into more severe consequences and should be closely monitored.

Sciatic pain often appears during pregnancy and it’s a common complaint of manual laborers, office workers and older individuals. Pressure on the sciatic nerve can result from a multitude of sources, ranging from osteoarthritis and inappropriate lifting habits to sleeping on a poor mattress and wearing high heels.

A physiotherapist has a variety of methods at their disposal to diagnose the cause and exact location of sciatic problems. A complete treatment, rehabilitation and management program will be developed to accommodate the needs of the client and eliminate the cause.

Multiple therapies may be employed that involve stretching muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments to ensure continued flexibility and mobility. In-office therapies and at-home exercises are typically prescribed. Manual manipulation and spinal mobilisation are hands-on techniques in which the therapist moves the affected area independent of the patient.

Therapeutic massage is especially beneficial for relieving pain and pressure, and facilitating freer movement. Trigger point therapy is utilized to relieve muscle knots that develop with repeated pain as the body tries to protect itself.

Ultrasound utilizes specific sound waves to relax soft tissues and accelerate healing. Electro stimulation is an effective treatment that keeps nerves and soft tissues functioning correctly and works with the body’s own healing mechanisms.

Moderate to severe sciatica requires prompt treatment. Left unattended, it can lead to weakness and loss of feeling in the leg, along with loss of bowel or bladder control. Those with diabetes and similar conditions affecting the nerves are at increased risk for sciatic problems, as are those who are overweight, who sit for long periods or are required to move heavy weights.

Sciatic nerve problems can happen to anyone. Age, occupation and nerve-related diseases can increase the risk, but physiotherapy techniques are specifically designed to ease the pain, alleviate the cause and prevent further instances.

For more information, call (03) 9489 7744 or visit Fairfield Physiotherapy online.