THE GURU

Sciatica

STRUCTURE
Nerve

s CONCERN
Low – high

}  PERIOD
6 – 52 wks


t ALT DIAGNOSIS
Muscle strain

What is Sciatica?

Tricky. It’s actually not really one thing. You can group most of it under the heading ‘my-sciatic- nerve-feels-grumpy’ but there are several symptoms and several causes. Pain can range from red-hot-poker screaming down the back of the leg to mild-toothache-in-the-butt type pain. Other symptoms might be numbness, pins and needles, electrical sensations, weakness in your leg or even a ‘tight’ feeling like a taught rope down the back of your leg.

Why does it happen?

There are roughly 2 types of sciatic issues. 1/ compressed. This is yucky. Often comes with a disc injury or a bunch of arthritic change that causes nerve compression. Usually very painful. Usually lots of nervy sensations. Sometimes weakness. 2/ irritated. Less yucky but still not fun. The nerve lives in the back of your leg so anywhere along that chain can get irritable. For example, if your bum muscles are weak and get stressed – they can irritate your sciatic nerve. Not as common to have the nervy signs with this and more unlikely to have weakness.

What can you do?

What can you do about sciatica? 
1. Find the ‘why’. Ask your physio to figure out what the cause is and make a plan from that info. 

2. Get mobility through the nerve if it isn’t too grouchy. If it is – don’t force it, try and get the 
inflammatory levels reduced so then you can DO MORE .
3. GET STRONG. Better your muscles are, the less the nerve will feel overloaded. 


How long will it take?

For an acute episode give it 6-8 wks if its a grumpy nerve rather than compressed. If it is compressed at that spinal level it may take much longer (months) as the inflammatory stuff will have to settle and nerves are like the teenagers of the body – highly reactive, quickly irritated and slow to forgive.

Bright-tips

Don’t miss any serious symptoms. If you feel numb around your groin, or going to the toilet is difficult or your foot feels weak and you can’t put weight through it – it may indicate a more serious issue. And it may be time sensitive so chat to your physio or doctor as soon as you can.

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If pain persists, you may require the help of a professional physio. Contact Brightside Physio to make an appointment.

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Brightside Physio
90 Elder St
Lambton (Newcastle)
NSW 2299

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Broadmeadow (Newcastle)
NSW 2292

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