Back Pain Treatment and Sciatica Solihull
Updated: Jan 26, 2019
Despite being a less common cause of non-specific low back pain, sciatica is still comment and something we see very regularly here at Dynamic Osteopaths in Solihull, and with that in mind it is of extreme interest. It is important to realise that sciatica can be managed, and with the right treatment it can be eased and prevented. Our roll here Dynamic Osteopaths is at to help treat and manage the pain, whilst allowing the bottle is natural healing mechanisms to kick in. Following on from this, it is our role to work on back pain prevention. Thankfully, the majority of people who we see in our osteopathic clinic‘s in Solihull and Birmingham improve and get better with a less 5% of patients having to be referred for questionable surgical review or epidural.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica refers to pain caused by the sciatic nerve that carries messages from the brain down the spinal cord to the legs. The pain of sciatica typically radiates down one side from the lower back into the leg, often below the knee, with typical characteristics of pins are needles in The foot. The most common cause of sciatica is a disc herniation or a bulging disc in the lower back (Lumbar spine). Our spinal discs are strong structures between the bones of the spine, that’s allow for movement and absorption. If the outer layer of the disc suffers a tear, usually due to overload the softer inner material can come out and cause compression or inflame the nearby nerve that exits from the spinal canal.
Sciatica generally happens in two forms: 1) it can happen in the younger population due to trauma or injury, 2) it can happen to the older population due to ongoing degenerative changes.
How can you find out if it is sciatica?
The key to diagnosing sciatica is a thorough history and a focused exam. Unfortunately, many patients expect an x-ray or MRI, but often this is not always needed and is not always 100%. However, this being said, if you do not get better or your pain gets worse and MRI is always good for diagnostic confirmation and spine condition. In acute cases the symptoms of sciatica are often worse with sitting, sneezing, coughing, bending forwards and may be accompanied by numbness or tingling in the leg. A physical exam can confirm that the sciatic nerve is involved, and we look for muscle weakness or altered sensation in the legs that suggest severity. Following on from this, we can make an initial diagnosis and start treatment.
Treatment focuses on controlling pain, gently mobilise in the spine, decompressing the disc, desensitising the nerve root and keeping people as active as possible. If the pain is excruciating, lying down for short periods can help, but prolonged bed rest does not. So once the pain reduces, we advise on gentle mobility exercises and walking short distances. Since sitting increases pressure on the discs, We recommend avoiding prolonged sitting or driving. As progression begins we also as provide physical therapy, soft tissue massage, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation. These methods are very helpful for back pain and sciatica. Over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen can help to take the edge off. When they don’t I may recommend short-term use of stronger, prescription pain medicines.
The good news is that for most people, symptoms improve over a few weeks. Rarely, we’ll find muscle weakness or wasting on examining. The objective is to avoid surgery at all costs unless absolutely necessary. This being said, if absolutely necessary, surgical procedures like a discectomy are generally successful.
As for steroid injections Injections - these can provide short-term relief. Like any procedure, it has uncommon risks including more pain, and it doesn’t seem to decrease the need for future surgery.
For most patients with sciatica, it’s worth seeing your osteopath to get an assessment. Here at Dynamic Osteopaths we try and reassure our patients of progress and improvement with is hugely encouraging. Also, that hurt doesn’t mean harm, and that our treatments are geared to managing back pain and sciatica, at the same to as keeping them active while the body fixes itself. For those not improving, We will get an MRI done. The key is the correct management and perseverance.
Get in touch to find out more on back pain treatment and sciatica.