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Sciatica: Causes, Treatments, and the Role of our Osteopaths in Hamilton


Summary:


Sciatica can be a literal pain in the butt.... and leg, and foot. Here we answer some common questions about sciatica that can help you take control over this pesky condition. Like how to alleviate sciatic nerve pain, what actions to avoid, and who can help manage and treat sciatica.

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Table of Contents:
  1. What Is Sciatica?

  2. How to Alleviate Sciatic Nerve Pain a. Self-Care Tips b. Osteopathic Treatment in Hamilton

  3. What Not to Do with Sciatica

  4. Is Walking Good for Sciatica?

  5. Finding the Right Healthcare Professional for Sciatica a. Osteopaths in Hamilton b. General Practitioners (GPs) c. Surgeons

  6. Conclusion

1. What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, typically from the lower back through the buttock and down the back of one leg, although leg pain WITHOUT back pain is a common symptom. It can be caused by various factors, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or even muscle imbalances. In addition to pain, sciatica can also cause weakness in the ankle and foot.


2. How to Alleviate Sciatic Nerve Pain

a. Self-Care Tips

  • Rest: Give your body the time it needs to heal. A lot of injuries occur around busy times where we aren't following good self care habits. Taking care of yourself through sleeping and eating well is good start.

  • Get moving if you can. Movement is medicine and motion is lotion. It is important to find and do movements you can still do with little to no pain. This is as simple as it sounds and often a good walk is enough.

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Medications: Consult your GP before using any medications. Typically NSAIDS and Panadol are used in the first instance. Anti spasmodic and nerve drugs may also be used at times. This is ultimately up to your GP.

b. Osteopathic Treatment in Hamilton

Osteopathic care can be a valuable approach to relieving sciatica pain. Osteopaths are trained to assess the body as a whole and will use various techniques to improve spinal and musculoskeletal health, which can alleviate sciatic pain. Our osteopaths in Hamilton are well trained to help you manage your sciatica, teach you ways of managing your pain yourself, and refer you to the right people when or if your sciatica becomes more concerning. We typically use a range of techniques that are best suited to you as a person, such as neural stretches, usual stretches (yoga and the like) spinal manipulation, facial manipulation, acupuncture, dry needling etc


3. What Not to Do with Sciatica

Certain actions can exacerbate sciatica, and it's important to avoid them. These may include heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, or sudden, jarring movements that put stress on the lower back. Most often, sciatica is aggravated by flexion or bending forward activates, although this is not always the case.


4. Is Walking Good for Sciatica?

Walking is generally considered a beneficial low-impact exercise for those with sciatica. It can help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. However, it's essential to avoid overexertion and to listen to your body.



Osteopath Hamilton. Hamilton osteopath nz. Experienced Hamilton Osteopaths. Pregnancy osteopath. Baby osteopath. Back pain osteopath. Headache osteopath. Acupuncture with osteopathy. Osteopathy with acupuncture. Osteopaths Hamilton. Hamilton Osteopath. Waikato Osteopath. Maternity osteopath

5. Finding the Right Healthcare Professional for Sciatica

a. Osteopaths in Hamilton

Our Osteopaths in Hamilton are trained to treat sciatica. We are a good first point of call as GPs are often to busy to see people in a timely manner and MOST sciatica cases do NOT need to go to ED. Nonetheless, we always promptly refer on if immediate care is needed.

b. General Practitioners (GPs)

GPs can provide initial assessments and may recommend conservative treatments or refer patients to osteopaths or surgeons if necessary. We often suggest booking with your Gp if there are any concerning symptoms or if pain medication is required.


c. Surgeons

In severe cases, surgery might be required to address structural issues causing sciatica. Surgeons can provide surgical options and evaluations for such cases. I have written about cauda equina syndrome before and it is in these cases that surgery may be considered. Surgery may also be considered where conservative care has failed or the pain is un relenting. You can read this here


6. A word from us

I've personally managed my own sciatica symptoms for around 10 years. This may seem somewhat ironic considering I help people with sciatica most days of the week. But I have been lucky in that my symptoms are seldom 'terrible'. Mostly I have a persistent vague ache that will on occasion ruin my day. The good that has come from my discomfort is I have spent countless hours reading, learning and trying different things to see what is and is not useful. And ultimately there is A LOT we can do to help manage sciatica symptoms, the trick is finding what is going to work for you.

Osteopath Hamilton. Hamilton osteopath nz. Experienced Hamilton Osteopaths. Pregnancy osteopath. Baby osteopath. Back pain osteopath. Headache osteopath. Acupuncture with osteopathy. Osteopathy with acupuncture. Osteopaths Hamilton. Hamilton Osteopath. Waikato Osteopath. Maternity osteopath

Written by Darryl Jenkins TLC osteopaths Osteopaths Hamilton

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