Sciatica…..did you know


Did you know that back pain and sciatica are quite common, particularly in people aged 25 to 45 years.

Sciatica can be described as a radicular pain – which is pain radiating from the back of a specific lumbar nerve root, along the femoral and sciatic nerve root distribution. Patients may pinpoint pain located in the back, buttocks, back of legs and/feet and toes.

There are many possible causes, some of which include lumbar disc herniation, localised inflammation, and biomechanical dysfunction affecting the muscles, ligaments, discs and facet joints etc

Treatment options include the following:

  • A conservative approach commonly used includes physical treatment such as Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy.
  • Exercise and patient education. Patients are often encouraged to perform a series of exercises on a daily basis to facilitate recovery. The overall aim is to encourage movement and get patients back to normal function and fitness.
  • Hot or cold compression
  • Pain relief. Bearing in mind the side effects of some medication, these should be taken with caution and discussed with your GP as required.
  • Steroids to reduce inflammation,
  • and sometimes as a last resort, surgery.


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  2. Garfin SR, Rydevik B, Lind B, Massie J. Spinal nerve root compression. 1995;20:1810–1820. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199508150-00012
  3. Van Akkerveeken PF. In: The Lumbar Spine. 2. Wiesel SW, Weinstein JN, Herkowitz HN, Dvorák J, Bell GR, editor. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders; 1996. Classification and Treatment of Spinal Stenosis; pp. 724–731.
  4. Atlas SJ, Deyo RA, Keller RB, Chapin AM, Patrick DL, Long JM, Singer DE. The Maine Lumbar Spine Study, Part II. 1-year outcomes of surgical and nonsurgical management of sciatica. 1996;21:1777–1786. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199608010-00011.
  5. Engers A, Jellema P, Wensing M, van der Windt D, Grol R, van Tulder M. In: Low Back Pain in General Practice. Should Treatment be aimed at Psychosocial Factors? Jellema P, editor. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Febodruk BV; 2005. Individual patient education for low back pain; a systematic review; pp. 123–156.
  6. Burton AK, Waddell G, Burtt R, Blair S. Patient educational material in the management of low back pain in primary care. Bull Hosp Jt Dis. 1996;55:138–141.
  7. McGill S. In: Low Back Disorders Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation. Mcgill S, editor. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2002. Developing the exercise program; pp. 239–257.
  8. Schulz CA, Hondras MA, Evans RL, Gudaville MR, Long CR, Owens EF, Wilder DG, Bronfort G. Chiropractic and self care for back related leg pain: design of a randomised clinical trial. Chiropr Man Therap; 2011; 19: 8
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