Sciatica is a common condition that causes pain to radiate in the buttocks, down the leg and into the foot. This pain is the result of a herniated disc in the backbone that compresses the sciatic nerve. Pain may be constant or sporadic and may involve numbness, burning or tingling. It can be exacerbated by coughing, sneezing, bending and lifting heavy objects. In some cases, sciatica may be the result of certain ingrained habits, such as sitting with a wallet in the back pocket or prolonged wearing of a tool belt with heavy tools. This can cause misalignment of the vertebrae. Back pain may also be present.
In most cases, sciatica can be treated with rest and physiotherapy. As your physiotherapist, we would perform an evaluation to determine your physical condition, pain location and mechanism of injury. We may have you raise one leg at a time, rotate the hip, squat, bend forward or backward and assume other positions. All of this is to help us pinpoint which muscles are involved and how to proceed with treatment.