Sciatica is a general term used to describe a pain pattern, numbness or pins and needles that is often caused by irritation or impingement of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in our body originates from the lower part of our spine and travels through the pelvis and the buttock muscles and down through the legs to our feet. Sciatica symptoms can be anything from pain to tingling or numbness along the line of the nerve and occasionally weakness of the leg muscles and foot. Sciatica is often over diagnosed or assumed to be the cause of pain wrongly. It is always worth speaking to your Osteopath or GP to get a correct diagnosis.
Most sciatica symptoms are caused by either a joint restriction in the lumbar spine or pelvis or a disc bulge in the lower back. Both of which can cause a pressure and irritation of the sciatic nerve. Another common cause is from the piriformis muscle in the buttock which can become tight and compresses the nerve and in turn, produces sciatica type symptoms into the leg. Some may describe it a toothache feeling in the leg. GA Osteopaths treat Sciatica using manual therapy techniques, often with very good results.