Sciatica Back Pain
Sciatica is a common type of back pain that is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down to the legs and feet, and when it becomes compressed, it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling sensations.
In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of sciatica back pain, its symptoms, how it can be treated, and provide up-to-date scientific references to support the information provided.
What Causes Sciatica Back Pain?
Sciatica back pain is typically caused by a herniated disk, which is when the soft tissue between the vertebrae in the spine pushes out and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Other causes of sciatica back pain include spinal stenosis, which is when the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the nerves, and spondylolisthesis, which is when one vertebra slips forward over another.
Common Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of sciatica back pain can vary depending on the underlying cause. Common signs and symptoms include –
- Pain that starts in the lower back and radiates down to the buttocks, legs, and feet.
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the legs and feet.
- Weakness in the legs.
- Pain that worsens with movement, coughing, or sneezing.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
How Can Sciatica Back Pain be Treated?
Treatment for sciatica back pain depends on the underlying cause.
In mild cases, rest, ice or heat therapy, physiotherapy, manual therapy, graded exercises and resistance training with pain relievers may be sufficient to manage the symptoms.
In more severe cases, prescription medication, injections or surgery may be required.
Physiotherapy can be particularly effective in treating sciatica back pain caused by musculoskeletal issues.
It can help to reduce pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen the muscles that support the spine.
Common physiotherapy techniques used to treat sciatica back pain include massage, stretches, and focussed exercises that build on strengthening the body, core muscles and improve global conditioning.
In addition to physiotherapy, medication may be prescribed to manage the symptoms of sciatica back pain.
This may include over-the-counter pain medication, muscle relaxants, or prescription-strength pain relievers, but it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication.
Sciatica back pain can be a source of discomfort and can affect a person’s quality of life. However, with proper treatment, it is possible to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
If you experience any symptoms of sciatica back pain, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. With the right treatment plan, you can enjoy a comfortable and healthy life.
If you need help please book an appointment with our team today by clicking the button below –
Parreira P, Maher CG, Steffens D, et al. Risk factors for low back pain and sciatica: an umbrella review. Spine J. 2018;18(9):1715-1721.
Wegner I, Widyahening IS, van Tulder MW, et al. Traction for low-back pain with or without sciatica. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(8):CD003010.
Lam M, Galvin R, Curry P. Effectiveness of acupuncture for nonspecific chronic low back pain, the NARCCOG RCT. J Altern Complement Med. 2021;27(9):791-798.