Sciatica is a painful syndrome caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs deep through the buttock and down the leg. Sciatica can range from a dull ache to an incapacitating pain. Symptoms may be constant or intermittent, depending on activities or time of day.
Osteopathy can be useful in relieving the symptoms of sciatica
Osteopaths will usually conduct a full musculoskeletal and orthopaedic examination to find the true underlying cause of the sciatica. Osteopaths treat the related joints, muscles, ligaments or tendons to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica can often resolve quickly with the appropriate management and self-care.
Symptoms of sciatica may include the following:
- pain in the buttock or down the leg
- muscular weakness
- pins and needles or tingling
- difficulty moving or controlling the leg.
The pain associated with sciatica can be caused by a number of underlying conditions. These may include:
- herniated (bulging) disc in the lower back
- bony growths on the spine
- arthritis in the low back or hip
- tight muscles in the buttock or trauma to the lower back
- pregnancy, due to changes in the pelvis and lower back.
Hip and Groin
Hip pain can be caused by a number of injuries or conditions. The most common cause of hip pain is inflamed tendons. Hip and groin pain can be related to a range of muscle or joint problems or it could be referred pain from your lower back.
Your osteopath will analyse your lower back and lower limb movement to help determine the cause of your pain. Because the hip is the centre of movement between the upper and lower parts of the body, it can easily be affected by poor movement control, posture or exercise.
Hip joint pain is often caused by a sitting position, landing awkwardly, certain sports, a sedentary lifestyle or arthritis. Hip joints can become sore when are held in a fixed position for a long time, or repeatedly moved into an uncomfortable position.
Minor and short term pain
Muscle pain often occurs in people who perform repeated sideways movements such as soccer players, dancers and AFL players. Many minor conditions can be painful but usually heal within a few days.
For muscular pain, your osteopath will look at the other muscles around your hip and groin to understand the cause of your discomfort.
Long term pain
Longer-term pain may be caused arthritis or bursitis. If pain is caused by arthritis your osteopath can help but may also suggest you see a GP for any additional medications or treatment.
Your osteopath will work with you to improve your posture, discuss the way you move or why you may be experiencing hip problems.
Shoulder pain has become extremely common over recent years as a result of frequent computer and smartphone usage and increased sedentary lifestyle.
Shoulder pain is often very complex. As a result, shoulder injuries can be more difficult to treat.
Your osteopath will work with you to determine the cause of your pain and decide on a course of treatment
Common Shoulder injuries include:
- rotator cuff tears
- shoulder impingement (Subacromial bursitis) – when shoulder tendons are trapped and compressed during shoulder movements
- frozen shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) – when the shoulder capsule swells and stiffens, restricting mobility
- postural tension
- referred pain
Symptoms of shoulder pain may include:
- 'catching' sensation when raising the arm or reaching
- sharp pain when moving your arm
- weakness in your arm or grip
- throbbing and aching in shoulder whilst sleeping
- pain radiating down the arm
- neck and shoulder stiffness
Osteopaths may help your shoulder pain by*:
- improving muscular flexibility in the shoulder area
- improving range of joint motion in the mid back, neck, shoulder blade and shoulder
- addressing postural strains and bad habits
- providing advice on maintaining flexibility and strength around the shoulder region
- providing exercises for stretching and rehabilitation
Your osteopath may also refer you to a GP for any additional medications or treatment.
Elbow pain often occurs due to a variety of sports and occupations that involve repeated pressure on the muscles and tendons near the elbow joint. This pressure can cause the muscles to become strained and tendons to become inflamed. You will often notice the pain when using your wrist or hand.
Your osteopath will work with you to determine the cause of your pain and decide on a course of treatment.
Common elbow injuries include:
- tennis elbow
- golfers elbow
- radial head ligament sprains
- ulnar nerve entrapment.
Symptoms of elbow pain:
- weak grip
- pain when twisting the wrist
- constant dull ache, worse at night
- sharp pain when moving the elbow joint.
Osteopaths may help your elbow pain by:
- treating the area with manual therapy
- providing advice on wearing brace support
- applying sports taping
- providing information and advice on taking anti-inflammatories
- referring you to a GP for further investigation if needed.