Lower back pain is the symptom for which the highest number of patients consult osteopaths. Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), recommend the use of manual therapy for managing lower back pain and osteoarthritis, as part of a treatment plan which includes exercise. Pain in your lower back can be a symptom of an injury to the soft tissues within your back, or injury to tissues within other joints such as your hip or pelvis, this is known as referred pain. Lower back pain can also be a symptom of something wrong within the internal organs, such as urinary infections.
‘Sciatica’ describes pain along the sciatic nerve distribution. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, it originates in the lower back and branches through the buttocks, thigh, leg and feet. Irritation to the nerve can cause pins and needles, a shooting, burning or stabbing pain, muscle weakness and numbness. Sciatic nerve irritation can occur from arthritis (spondylosis), a disk herniation/protrusion, vertebral movement (spondylolisthesis) or from compression of the sciatic nerve by a muscle in the buttocks (piriformis syndrome).
As an osteopath, I have been trained to locate the cause of your symptoms by analysing your case history, in combination with the results from your examinations and orthopaedic tests. I utilise a combination of osteopathic techniques within your personalised treatment plan, directed at the source of your pain. I also consider and examine other areas of the body which could have contributed towards your condition, such as your feet, knee, hip and pelvis.