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When we think of sciatica, we often think of shooting pain down into the leg from the lower back, along the path of the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, the symptoms begin.

What causes sciatica?

The sciatica nerve tends to get damaged in two ways. It may be pinched or compressed by other structures such as a bulging disc, or it may sustain injury from trauma, like an injury to the back. Of these, a herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica in younger adults. Other causes of compression include:
  • Inflammation resulting from other conditions or injuries
  • Spinal misalignment
  • Spinal degeneration
  • Poor posture
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Facet joint injuries
  • Poor manual handling
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Spinal stenosis

What does sciatica feel like?

Pain is one of the first symptoms and it may be accompanied by:
  • Sharp, shooting pain
  • Burning pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or pins and needles
  • Muscle weakness

How do you treat sciatica?

Sciatica is caused by a broad range of factors and not every presentation is due to the same cause. Most frequently caused by low sitting and repetitive lifting the onset of symptoms are usually due to years of poor mechanics from posture, to weakness and repetitive patterns. Our aim is to work out the causes to treat the symptoms so patients can avoid future problems. Often that can include stand up desks so people can change position and sit and stand during the day, strengthening exercise, dry needling, massage and a lot of education about prevention.

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