A very effective treatment that works quickly to alleviate sciatica pain, often within a few treatments. It can be effective even when other therapies have been unable to provide lasting relief.
Sciatica is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine area. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and runs from the lumbar part of the spinal cord spreading out into the buttocks, down the legs and into the feet. The pain is usually down one side of the body only. These imbalances can be caused by hip or knee problems, surgery, accidents, falls, sporting injuries or just plain lifting or twisting awkwardly.
The most common cause of true sciatica is a "slipped disc". The discs (or inter-vertebral discs) are the cushions which separate the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Your doctor may refer to a slipped disc as a prolapsed intervertebral disc (PID) or a herniated nucleus pulposus.
The intervertebral disc looks a bit like a checkers piece in shape. The ring around the outside is tough and fibrous, and the centre is rather more like the consistency of a chewy sweet. These discs allow for some flexibility between the bones of the spine, and also act as shock absorbers.
The pressures within the discs can reach high levels when we bend or twist, even without carrying a heavy load. If we add to that a heavy load, especially held out at arms' length, the pressures rise even higher.
If part of the fibrous outer ring of the disc is weaker than the rest, the softer centre (nucleus pulposus) may push its way through, bulging outwards. If this bulge presses against a nerve which is running from the main, central nervous system to one of the legs, it causes symptoms in that leg.
Other things can cause irritation of or pressure on a nerve in the spine. Sometimes this may be a rough and enlarged part of one of the vertebrae, brought about by age. A rarer conditions, infections and tumours are to blame. Most times the cause is nothing too serious, but one of the reasons for seeing your doctor if the pain persists, is to make sure that serious and treatable causes have been ruled out.
Symptoms of sciatica:
- pain in the buttock or leg that is worse when sitting
- burning or tingling down the leg
- weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- constant pain on one side of the buttock
- shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- low back pain may be present along with the leg pain, but usually the low back pain is less severe than the leg pain
Bowen therapy has proven highly effective in treating sciatica. It works to relax the nervous system as well as tense muscles, tendons and ligaments thereby allowing the pinched sciatic nerve to be released.
University Pain Clinic
& Wellness Centre
Sciatica Treatment Specialist