Low back and leg pain? It could be sciatic pain!
Lately we have had a number of people coming to the clinic complaining of low back and leg pain. This is commonly know as sciatic pain. Sciatic pain can occur when the sciatic nerve is compromised anywhere along its length by inflammation, disc swelling, or muscle compression. The sciatic nerve exits the spine in the lumbar area, passes through the gluteal muscles and into the upper leg. It splits into two parts just before it reaches the knee and those divisions continue into the lower leg and foot. It supplies sensory and motor function all along its length and can cause a lot of pain and loss of function when it doesn’t work properly.
This pain can be caused by trauma such as falling or stopping oneself from falling or a motor vehicle accident, More often it occurs over a period of time due to sitting, biking, spinning, walking or playing sports. It can also be a result of poor posture. Any of these things can cause the muscles to tighten and exert pressure on the nerve. It also occurs quite commonly during pregnancy.
Diane Deinstadt, RMT has had a lot of success treating this condition. The treatment consists of a thorough massage of the low back, the gluteal muscles and the legs. As always, both sides are treated even when the symptoms are one-sided. This ensures any compensatory changes are treated as well as any problems that may have been masked by the over-riding and could be contributing to the condition. Deep pressure is often used and the treatment can be painful. Ideally the treatment would be done twice a week for a few weeks and then once a week for four to six weeks more. There are stretches and home exercises that can help. Postural changes may be recommended. Chiropractic care may be suggested as a complimentary treatment and orthotics are sometimes recommended. Chances of recovery are very good when all the recommendations are followed!