Sciatic nerve treatment
“Do I have sciatica?“
If you’re not sure whether you have sciatica or not, it’s worth watching this old video “Have I got sciatica?”
What treatment for sciatica?
It depends on what kind of sciatica you have. Broadly, there are 2 types of sciatica.
- Nerve compression sciatica
- Non-nerve compression sciatica
Treatment for nerve compression sciatica
Nerve compression sciatica is where you have actual compression of either the sciatic nerve or one of its tributaries. The tributaries of the sciatic nerve are spinal nerves. These nerves come from between your 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae and your 1st and 2nd sacral segments. They are referred to as spinal nerves L4, L5, S1 and S2 (“L” standing for Lumbar, and “S” standing for Sacral).
The most common cause of nerve compression is a disc bulge/herniation/prolapse displacing a spinal nerve. If you have nerve compression sciatica the pain tends to be worse below the knee rather than above it. You will also likely be missing a tendon jerk and/or have a weakness in one of your leg muscles.
Sciatica nerve treatment will target the underlying cause of your sciatica. If it’s a disc problem we need to treat the lumbar disc, and there are a number of possible approaches. If it’s something more serious (there are other medical issues that can compress these nerves) then you’ll need medical intervention. Here’s more detail on whether you need to see a doctor for sciatica.
Treatment for non-nerve compression sciatica
Sciatic nerve treatment when you don’t actually have compression of the sciatic nerve or its tributaries actually doesn’t involve treating the sciatic nerve. What we’re talking about here is referred pain. You can have pain in the distribution of your sciatic nerve without any irritation of the nerve or of its tributaries. Let’s say you have strained a muscle or a joint in your lower back. That muscle or joint may have its nerve supply originating from the L5 spinal nerve. Your brain can’t differentiate exactly where this is coming from and it may project the pain into another area supplied by L5 – that could be in the sciatic nerve zone. This is non-nerve compression sciatica. The treatment targets the cause – in this case the strained muscle or joint.
Sciatic nerve treatment in Edinburgh
Whether you have non-nerve compression or nerve compression sciatica, we are specialisists in sciatica in Edinburgh.
You can book an osteopath online, or give us a ring on 0131 221 1415.