SCIATICA

What is Sciatica?
This is a condition where the sciatic nerve is being compressed or irritated, resulting in pain shooting down the back of the leg sometimes as far as the foot and toes.

What causes Sciatica?
It can be caused by a slipped disc, a tight muscle in the pelvis, called the piriformis muscle, compressing the sciatic nerve or sometimes an inflamed joint in the spine.

How can Sciatica be treated?
An accurate diagnosis is essential for the effective treatment of sciatica, and will include neurological, orthopaedic and chiropractic tests.

Often co-management with your GP will be necessary as anti inflammatory and analgesic medication will be required, along with possible time off work.

Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be helpful with disc injuries, and a multidisciplinary support programme using a combination of chiropractic adjustments, a carefully designed exercise rehabilitation programme and pharmacological support may well be in the patients best interests.

References:
Oliphant D. Safety of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk hernia- tions: a systematic review and risk assessment. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2004;27:197–210.

Santilli V, Beghi E, Finucci S. Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. Spine J 2006;6:131–137.

Waddell G, McIntosh A, Hutchinson A, Feder G, Lewis M, (1999) Low Back Pain Evidence Review, London: Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of General Practitioners, 14 Princes Gate, Hyde Park, London SW7 1PU.