Our osteopath’s practical tips for managing sciatica
Sciatica is a fairly common condition that is estimated to affect approximately 2% of the population annually with the vast majority of cases caused by a spinal disc injury. Fortunately the prognosis for sciatica is generally good, and with some practical steps you can maximise your chances of a full and speedy recovery. Frequently asked questions:
Q: Should I rest to help my recovery?
A: There is good evidence that trying to remain active within your capabilities will aid in your long term recovery. This could include some simple stretching, water walking at your local pool or going for a short walk (even just down to the mail box can be helpful).
Q: When should I see my doctor?
A: If sciatica is having a significant impact on your everyday life, if you have had a significant accident, or if you experience any incontinence or numbness around the groin. For acute cases of sciatica the primary goal of treatment is managing your pain so it’s usually worth discussing medication with your doctor, particularly in the early stages.
Q: Do I need an X-ray?
A: Sciatica is mainly diagnosed by talking to your therapist or doctor and a physical examination. In most cases, people with sciatica don’t need an x-ray or an MRI.
Q: How can osteopathy help sciatica?
A: Osteopaths work to identify and address any underlying conditions, by obtaining full history and conducting a thorough examination of the musculoskeletal system. Your osteopath will put together a reliable strategy to manage your pain that will help:
• improve joint mobility
• minimize muscle stress and nerve irritation
• help reduce likelihood and severity of future episodes
• provide guidance on posture, exercise and stretching
With appropriate treatment and self-care strategies, most patients can expect to see improvements within days, and resolution of symptoms within weeks without the need for surgery and reduced reliance on medication.
If you are suffering from sciatica then please book online at www.medosteo.co.nz or call Alastair on 021 1660254. Or contact the Holistic Medical Centre for a full examination on 09 3700650.