Sciatica can be a real pain in the backside. We’re talking literally. Sciatica is a generic term for any pain or discomfort that arises when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the buttock, back of the legs and into the feet. As such, the pain can be felt throughout the lower body including the buttocks.
Sciatic pain can be mild or excruciating. Up to 40% of the New Zealand population will experience sciatic pain at some point in their lives, and this is why it’s a common complaint at our Remuera physio clinic. Fortunately, as experts in pain relief, there’s a lot we can do to alleviate the discomfort. It might involve manipulation, specific exercises and an ongoing rehab programme, and given the pain it can cause, we’re keen to resolve any sciatica-related problems as soon as we can. That’s why you should contact us when you feel any symptoms, and that includes pain anywhere from the lower back and along any part of the nerve pathway, including your thighs, calves and, yes, your backside. Sciatica can also cause numbness along the nerve and tingling in your feet and toes, so don’t ignore these symptoms either.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or damaged. Most of the time, it is caused by a herniated disc (sometimes referred to as a disc prolapse or a slipped disc).
The bones in your spine are cushioned by rubber-like discs made up of connective tissue: these discs help to absorb shocks, hold your vertebrae together and allow for a good degree of mobility. When a disc sustains damage, the connective tissue can be forced through the wall of the disc, which puts pressure on the adjacent sciatic nerve. When this happens, you’ll experience discomfort at best and almost insufferable pain at worst.
These factors may increase the risk of sciatica:
As we’ve said, we can treat sciatica at our clinic and combined with an ongoing recovery programme we can stop it from becoming too much of a pain in the backside. Contact us should you experience any of the symptoms we’ve just discussed in this post.