• Sports Injury Case Study: Thierry Henry’s Sciatica

    The Injury

    Thierry Henry was sidelined with Sciatica in late November 2006. Although the cause of Sciatica usually lies in the back, not all sufferers will experience back pain and symptoms can be variable. The problem can manifest as back pain with leg pain, or leg pain only.

    The Treatment

    Like most people with Sciatica, Thierry Henry didn’t have surgery. Physiotherapy treatment is usually effective in most cases of Sciatica. Pain-relieving medication and heat packs are helpful during the first few days following a Herniated disc, but research evidence suggests that patients with Sciatica should be advised to remain as active as they possibly can. There is no evidence that staying active is harmful for either severe low back pain or Sciatica. A back brace is often helpful to improve posture and relieve pain in cases of Sciatica that are due to a Herniated Disc.

    With most Herniated Discs, the symptoms can be relieved if the patient gets into a position of spinal extension, but if this position is painful it should be avoided. Spinal extension can be achieved by using a Back Stretcher. In most cases, this position puts the spine in the opposite position to that in which the injury occurred (spinal flexion or bending) and this encourages healing.

    Core stability exercises play a major role in relieving Sciatica and restoring normal function. These exercises are most effective where the problem is caused by poor postural habits. The Stabiliser Pressure Biofeedback device is very useful for learning these specific exercises, once the correct technique has been mastered under the guidance of a Chartered Physiotherapist.

    The Outcome

    Thierry Henry made a fantastic recovery from his Sciatica problem. Following physiotherapy treatment he returned to action after just five weeks, scoring in his first three matches back.

    What you can do:

      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

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