19/03/2019 Gavin

Get rid of sciatica with help from an Edinburgh osteopath

If you’d like to get rid of sciatica, and you’re based in or around Edinburgh, you’re in luck.  I’ve been specialising in lower back pain with or without leg pain for over 25 years, and I’m an osteopath in Edinburgh.  Alternatively, if you need an online course, check out our online course for lower back problems.

Make sure you have sciatica

It’s just worth checking that you actually have sciatica.  As I’ve written before, there are broadly two types of sciatica.  These are nerve-compression sciatica and non-nerve-compression sciatica. In the first you have actual compression/irritation of the sciatic nerve or one of its tributaries.  In the second you don’t; the pain in your sciatic area is due to the mechanism of referred pain.

The sciatic nerve distribution includes the buttock, back and outside of the thigh, and everything below the knee, all the way to the big toe.  Any pain or pins and needles in that region could be sciatica.

To get rid of sciatica, first, don’t aggravate your it

Remember pain is a biological alarm system. So it’s important to avoid activities that increase your pain.  If you continue to do things that cause your pain to increase, the alarm bell will keep ringing.  And you’re in grave danger of sensitising the alarm system.  Essentially, the longer you have pain for, the more likely this sensitisation is to happen.

Second, relieve your sciatica

The principle here is “Use it or lose it but don’t abuse it”.  “Don’t abuse it” ties in with the first point above.  Movement is really important for healing and for calming pain down, by reassuring your nervous system that it’s going to be OK.  You MUST move, within the limits of your pain i.e. don’t make the pain worse.  Of course you may choose to use medication.  As Edinburgh osteopaths, we have a bunch of exercises to benefit different types of sciatica.  At a high level, most people’s sciatica is either worse for bending forwards or backwards.  So avoid that movement.  But do movements in the opposite direction.

Third, minimise the risk of recurrence of sciatica

There are a bunch of good habits and exercises you can undertake to improve your lower back function.  And by doing these, you’re reducing your risk.

Summary on how to get rid of sciatica

So, if you want to get rid of sciatica, follow these straight-forward steps.

  1. Don’t aggravate your sciatica
  2. Do things to relieve your sciatica
  3. Do things to minimise the risk of recurrence of sciatica

If you’d like help in this journey, you can book online to see an Edinburgh osteopath specialising in lower back problems.