Sciatica and Lower Back Pain

Sciatica and Lower Back Pain

Sciatica and lower back pain: Does sciatica always present post lower back pain or is lower back pain separate to Sciatica?

Lower back pain has many different origins. It can be acute or chronic by nature. It can be from lifting a heavy item in the garden or from simply reaching forward to pick up a small cup! 

Does an accurate diagnosis of low back pain affect the resultant treatment? The common answer is no. This is largely because a twinge in the facet joints, disc’s bulging and non-specific low back pain all result in similar physiological changes in the surrounding area.

Muscles attached to and surrounding this low back episode begin to tighten and spasm as a result of trauma. The flow of lymph surrounding the specific area of discomfort generally slow and the body begins the inflammation process in which natural healing begins to take place. This is the point at which a physiotherapist at Purpose can begin to assist you on the road to recovery. During this difficult and somewhat stressful time of pain and discomfort, physiotherapists can assist you by educating you about the problem. Education is paramount when managing low back pain, as the topic can often be confusing, so we make sure to use easy to understand language when describing your symptoms. Physios will provide exercises for your low back pain and more than likely some gentle forms of relief. Whether this be dry needling, massage, cupping, or pressure point release, these techniques combined with education will help with the early, middle, and late stages of low back pain.

physiotherapist guiding a rehab session

So where does Sciatica fit in?

Sciatic type discomfort is a radiating nervy sensation of pins and needles and or numbness down the leg. Often, it is unilaterally or “down one leg”. This is a result of the above tightening of muscles and inflammation surrounding the low back pain episode. It is because of this inflammation that the nerves running past and out of the spinal column have less room to pass through. Therefore, the disc could be “pressing on” parts of the nerve and causing the resultant numbness.

The Piriformis muscle is another common location where sciatic nerve discomfort can originate from. With a combination of tighter than normal external rotators of the hip and the sciatic nerve running through the same region of the posterior hip, it can result in a deep seeded ache in the gluteal region and then also manifest into the hamstrings and posterior chain of the leg. This is known as Piriformis Syndrome. Physiotherapists at Purpose play a key role in acute management of this issue. Diagnosis, guidance, and education alongside soft tissue release work will have you informed and equipped to stave off this issue in future.

Start the road to recovery from lower back pain with Purpose

Purpose Physiotherapists are happy to talk to you about your low back pain / sciatica.  We offer a comprehensive assessment and treatment at our practices in Coledale, Bulli and across the Wollongong Region. By assessing your mobility and combing this with some release work, we target your individual episode of low back pain and sciatica. By tailoring an outcome to get you back pain free and enjoying life. Free from low back pain for life.

Move with Purpose, Live with Purpose!
Call Ben on: 0413 837 835
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