Sciatica: Slipped Discs and Trapped Nerves
Updated: Nov 26, 2018
Sciatica: Slipped Discs and Trapped Nerves
Sciatica is of the most painful and difficult condition to treat, but havning said this can respond very well to conservative means of treatment.
Dynamic Osteopaths in Henley-In-Arden Warwickshire has also become a Specialist Centre for Non-Surgical treatment, for the treatment of disc prolapse and sciatica via conservative means of manual ostepathic treatment.
This term is commonly used to describe pain in the buttock or leg. It’s often due to a problem within the low lumbar spine, of which irritation can occur in the nerves as they pass through this region. Although there is technically no injury to the leg, it’s possible to suffer from a referred pain from the spine which is felt in the leg.
True sciatica is due nerve root irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is felt as a sharp pain radiating down the back of the leg and often into the sole of the foot and big toe. It may be associated with ‘pins and needles’ or numbness.
Sciatic pain may also result from a condition known as Piriformis Syndrome. This may occur as the sciatic nerve runs close to the Piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttock, which may spasm due to a number of reasons and can lead to irritation of the sciatic nerve. This condition mimics the symptoms of a slipped disc almost completely but is usually much easier to correct and responds well to osteopathic treatment.
These are among the most painful conditions that you may suffer from and are usually caused by either direct pressure on the nerve or local inflammation that is involving the nerve. They usually occur in the arms or legs but can happen in the hands feet and around the chest.
Symptoms are often described as a severe ache, often described as like a bad toothache, radiating into the limb which becomes sharp with movement and may give altered sensations such as ‘pins and needles’ in the hands or feet. The pain may vary in intensity from a mild discomfort to almost unbearable pain that prevents you from sleeping. The most common form of nerve entrapment occurs down the leg and is called sciatica. Peripheral nerve entrapment on the other hand is a condition not carpal tunnel syndrome.
Although known as a slipped disc, no slippage of the disc occurs. It actually involves a bulge in the disc wall or a rupture (herniation) of the disc wall that allows the jelly-like centre of the disc to protrude out. The outer fibres of the disk usually breaks down over a long period of time as a result of abnormal loading through the disc due to poor posture, past injury, poor spinal mechanics, poor muscle support or poor working habits.
It most commonly occurs right at the base of the spine and can give varying degrees of leg and low back pain. Although uncommon, a complete herniation can cause paralysis of the foot and leg and loss of control of the bladder and bowel.
These conditions require skilled assessment and diagnosis by an osteopath or spinal surgoen and will usually need an MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis which we can arrange for you. It is very important that any pain radiating into the limb is checked quickly (usually within 72 hours of onset) no matter how minor, as fast intervention can often prevent more serious and painful conditions from developing. Leaving these conditions unresolved may lead to long-lasting damage especially to the sciatic nerve. It is therefore not wise to ignore even a mild backache or severe stiffness, especially in the morning, or any pain radiating into the leg.
Medication prescribed by your GP can often help with the pain but does not get to the cause of the entrapment meaning that it may take several months for the entrapment to pass. Osteopaths are skilled at finding the mechanical reasons responsible for the nerve entrapments and use effective, gentle treatments to correct these stresses, aimed to allow the disc to heal without the need for surgery or epidural injection.
There is evidence to support the fact that osteopathic treatment can help with sciatica pain and Clinical experience shows that about 70-80% will respond very well to osteopathic treatment and rehabilitative exercise.
Here af Dynamic Osteopaths in Solihull and Birmingham, from many years of experience Treating sciatica we use gentle treatment techniques that are aimed at de-compressing the area where the nerve root is giving you the symptoms.
If you have any questions relating to trapped nerves, sciatica or slipped discs or I want to learn more about our treatment here at Dynamic Osteopaths in Solihull and Birmingham please call our reception:
Let’s get you back on the road to rec
*Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010, 18:3 doi:10.1186/1746-1340-18-3 Article URL http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/18/1/3