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Sciatica may or may not be accompanied by back pain. Sciatica is a condition where pain, weakness or altered sensation can be experienced in the buttock, hamstring, calf or foot but stem from the spine, via the Sciatic nerve. Sciatica symptoms can vary from a mild cramping or tightening sensation in the hamstring or calf muscles, to a constant shooting pain in the buttock, hamstring and down to the foot.
The major cause of Sciatica is a herniated disc (slipped disc) in the lower back, although Degenerative Disc Disease and Spinal Stenosis can also produce Sciatica, and irritation of any part of the Sciatic nerve can cause the symptoms of Sciatica.
Physiotherapy is very effective for the treatment of Sciatica. Pain-relieving medication is usually necessary during the first few days following a herniated disc, but the best available evidence suggests that patients with Sciatica should be advised to try to remain active, although movements such as bending forwards or sitting for prolonged periods should be avoided.
Common Sciatica signs & symptoms:
|Consult a sports injury expert|
|Remain active and apply heat packs for pain relief|
|Wear a back brace to improve posture & relieve pain|
|Use a back stretcher to assist the healing process|
|Exercise with a Swiss Ball to increase lower back muscular stability|
|Use a seat support to improve posture whilst sitting|
|Practice exercises to strengthen spine supporting muscles|