Sciatica, A Real Pain in the Bum

If you have every suffered from sciatica, then you have experienced pain.  It is a disorder of which to the suffer there doesn’t seem to be anything that helps & everything seems to make it worse.  However, this condition that causes pain to radiate into the bottom cheek & down the leg is often not really understood.  In simple terms it is a pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve which can in turn cause shooting pains, electric shock sensations, pins & needles or numbness anywhere along the course of the nerve.

The most common cause of sciatic pain is a disc bulge in the lower part of the lumbar spine, a bulge forms when the softer gel-like centre of the disc is squeezed outwards against the more fibrous outer layer to create a bulge.  This bulge then impinges on the nerve root as it leaves the spine causing irritation of the sciatic nerve.

In addition to the pressure causing irritation of the nerve, which as previously mentioned manifests as pain, numbness or pins & needles,  it also causes the nerve to behave differently.  Meaning that normally a nerve does not mind being stretched or compressed whereas an irritated nerve does not like this one bit.  So, when one sits for some time, especially on a hard-based chair, we are squashing the nerve as it passes along the buttock muscles & also when one sits with the leg outstretched such as when driving, this stretching of the nerve will not be well tolerated which again results in pain.  So, it is little wonder that sciatica is often made much worse when the sufferer sits or drives for long periods!



In the majority of cases sciatica does get better on its own within a period of 6 to 8 weeks, especially if it is caused by a disc bulge as it will gradually heal over this period of time as the pressure on the nerve will reduce.  However, there is much you can do to help speed up this process & there is no need to suffer in silence.

Staying active, avoiding sitting for long periods & undertaking some simple stretches are activities that can be done to ease the condition.  If you need to take painkillers to gain some relief from the pain then do so (under the direct advice & guidance of your doctor) as there is no point in ’braving it out’ & being unable to move around.  Simply because movement is the most important thing to making a good & speedy recovery.

Therapy can also be very helpful with sciatica as manual techniques can be used to reduce tension an pain & make it easier for you to move.  The therapists of A+ Sports Therapy can advise you upon the most appropriate exercises & stretches for your specific problem.  Importantly, we can diagnose whether your pain originates in the backside or the leg as sciatica is only one of a number of conditions that can cause buttock pain.  With this being so it is important to get the correct diagnosis so that you can undertake the right treatment regimen which will set you on the road to recovery.

So, if you are suffering with a pain in the bum make an appointment with us so that we can fully diagnose the problem & create a personalised treatment plan for you & get you back to doing the things you love to do.

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