So, can Osteopathy help your sciatica pain?
In this series of blogs entitled ‘Can Osteopathy help…’ I hope to answer some common questions that patients have asked me over my many years of practice. This blog is going to focus on the question – ‘can Osteopathy help with sciatica pain?’
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica can be caused by a number of different things, including muscle spasm/over contraction or over stretch and nerve irritation from inflammatory processes in the joint/ligament and muscle complexes.
These apparent causes of Sciatica can originate from many different things, including joint and disc problems. Lesser known causes are connective tissue pulls and tight muscle chains from other areas of the body, such as the shoulder or neck.
Commonly, the patients I see will have been gardening, running / playing sports, or working (physical and non-physical jobs).
They can develop leg pain instantly, or it can develop over a matter of minutes to hours and sometimes they only notice it on waking.
It really does depend upon the actually root cause the pain, which is where we come in.
We try to help find the reason why the pain exists and if possible, reduce or eliminate it.
If Osteopathic treatment is not deemed the most appropriate form of treatment which will help you then we will tell you and refer you to another source of help.
What are of symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica can also occur with or without back pain. By its very nature, sciatica causes pain into the buttock, down the side and back of the leg and into the shin and foot.
Generally speaking, sciatica is worse for trying to raise your leg whilst keeping your knee straight.
It can also be worse for coughing, sneezing and straining on the toilet.
Sometimes, people even find it hurts when they look down using their head and neck only.
Note: if sciatica occurs along with an inability to go to the toilet, then you should attend A&E immediately as this can be a sign of Cauda Equina which can be a debilitating condition if not treated early on.
What does Osteopathy do?
Osteopathic treatment generally focuses on removing inflammation, stretching muscles and connective tissues whilst articulating joints. This simple formula will be tweaked to suit each individual case and some areas worked on more than others; with the main purpose of treatment being to bring about normal homeostasis, (a natural form of balance in the body).
Can Osteopathy help me?
The Osteopath here at Baks Osteopathy Maidstone can help you to figure out you likely root cause of your pain. Once this has been achieved, we can work together to release you from your pain; inflammation; more pain cycle. Having taught Osteopathy at University for nearly 13 years at an undergraduate and post graduate level. He uses a combination of his Osteopathic knowledge and clinical experience to help root out the cause of your pain.
Will treatment hurt?
Osteopathic treatment should not be painful. You should be able to enjoy good pain relief, albeit with some aches remaining at the end of treatment. These aches can either disappear after a few days, or they can remain until your next session. They are normally due to a build up of inflammatory chemicals which congest the body’s tissues, leading to pain.
The duration of these aches depends upon your specific problem and how many sessions you are likely to need to resolve it. As a guide, most people have some good relief within 4 – 6 sessions, sometimes less and sometimes longer.
The Osteopath at Baks is adept at a number of treatment approaches, including; the Total Body Adjustment, Cranial Osteopathy and Visceral Osteopathy. These different approaches are used because not everyone has a body that needs one particular form of treatment. Sometimes, a combination of treatment approaches are used during the same session, depending on what is needed. The flexibility of our approach is key.
Do I need a lot of treatment?
As alluded to above, an average amount of treatments is 4 – 6, sometimes more and sometimes less.
You will never be told that you should come in for treatment when it is not necessary. Having said that, many people choose to come and see me on a semi-regular basis because once they are out of pain, they like to have treatment anyway. These people find that the relaxing nature of Osteopathy calms them and helps prevent tensions building up. This is always a personal choice and one which you can read about amongst the reviews on our Google page.
Do I need to pre-book, or can I just walk in to see you?
All our consultations are by appointment only, but you don’t need a referral from your doctor, you can just self-refer, no hassle at all.
In fact, it’s easy to get in touch with us and book in, just go to our Bookings Page – here.