Treating Sciatica

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woman-back-pain-physioWhat is Sciatica

Sciatica is the name given to pain, numbness or weakness in the areas that are supplied by the sciatic nerve, these include the hip, buttock, thigh, calf and foot. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and when compressed, irritated or inflamed can be debilitating.

When does it occur

Sciatica is often brought on by restrictions within the spine affecting the sciatic nerve and causing referred pain. Restrictions in the pelvis could cause a tightening in the gluteal muscles putting pressure directly on the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica can also be caused by more serious issues which is why it is important to consult your physiotherapist if you notice any referred pain in the leg, it may not always be ‘sciatica’, but it is important to find the cause of your pain.

Sciatica is often preceded by a few weeks of back pain before the leg pain becomes worse than the back pain. In severe cases it can damage nerves and reflexes or cause muscle degeneration of the calf.

It is therefore necessary to consult your physiotherapist as soon as you notice pain in your back as the pain will not always ‘go away on its own’.

Often people wait until the pain is unbearable to consult a physiotherapist. It is important to consult the physiotherapist when the pain initially begins, as sciatica can cause long term damage.

Sciatica Treatments

Sciatica can have numerous sources thus there are a number of Physiotherapy treatments, none of which involve drugs or surgery. Techniques we use include manual therapies (MT) including muscle energy technique (MET), core rehabilitation (CR), dry needling, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and soft tissue massage (STM), trigger point therapy (TPT) and home exercise regime (HEP).

So consult our Physiotherapist Rochelle Vujcich-Harris and she will review your complete medical history and perform a physical exam to determine the cause of your condition. You may require x-rays which our Physiotherapist will discuss with you when you attend the clinic. X-Rays are usually bulk billed. She will then review the results and discuss possible treatment options with you.

Pain medications only mask the pain, they do not fix the cause and surgery should always be your last resort.


Make an appointment at Physiotherapist Melbourne or call us on (03) 9380 5434.

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