In the last couple of weeks I have been seeing quite a few people coming into the clinic who are suffering with low back pain.
A lot of these are just nagging, achy backs that are not so bad to be stopping them from doing anything, but are just a ‘nuisance’ and ‘annoying’.
The rest of them are coming in with sharp pain that is very restrictive and really limiting what they can do.
Most of the second group are coming in thinking that they have sciatica and a few of them have, but the rest of them had pain that was similar to sciatica but not, in fact, true sciatica.
If you have ‘true sciatica’ then you really do know about it as it is very uncomfortable and really impacts what you can do.
This happens when the sciatic nerve (which is the largest nerve in the body) gets compressed or injures at some point along it’s journey from the lower back down to your foot.
What you feel is a sharp burning like pain that can be really ‘nasty’ and can result in pins and needles and numbness all the way down to the foot, a hot sensation and sometimes even a cold sensation.
Sitting can be very difficult as it can put more pressure on the nerve which means you can feel that burning or searing pain, even more.
If you have to drive anywhere for any length of time, it can be very tough and often painkillers don’t even have an effect.
This is real sciatica.
The other type of pain that people can get down their leg can often mimic sciatica type pain but will not have the real burning sensation or pins and needles.
It can still be very uncomfortable and sore, but is often caused from muscular pain and can be coming from the glute muscles (bum muscles) or the hamstrings. This can be a lot quicker to resolve with but will still need some hands-on treatment to help it do so.
Can physio help ‘true’ sciatica?
In a lot of cases it can. If the pressure can be taken off the nerve then the symptoms can be reduced.This can be done through some breathing work, hands on techniques and specific exercises depending on, of course, what the person needs.
Everyone’s case will be individual and this is why most exercises from Youtube won’t work. They are too general.
It is only in about 5 % of cases that medical intervention, in the form if surgery is needed, and this is where there is more significant damage to the nerve or there is a disc or bone that is really impeding the nerve and needs to be removed.
The thing that the patient needs to understand with physio treatment is that changes often don’t come about quickly and sometimes, physio can make it worse before it makes it better. If this happens it will normally be over the first session or two but then changes will start to occur and improvements will be noticed.
If you need some advice or help
Don’t just sit at home and wonder what to do. We can offer support, advice and help if you are ‘stuck’ and not sure what can be done to help.
You can apply for a FREE Discovery session which will help you by giving you the advice and help you need going forward and importantly, let you know if physio at Midlands Physical Therapy is the right option for you.
If you wish to apply for a discovery, click the link and we will back to you to help.
Or you can call 09064 66761 to talk to us todayClick here to apply for a dicsovery session