Osteopathy treats Sciatica - The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest of all the body’s nerves. It runs from the spinal column through the pelvis and down each leg. Each sciatic nerve is made up of five smaller nerves that branch into the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, and foot. Sciatica occurs when this nerve is compressed, irritated, or inflamed. Sciatica is not a condition or a diagnosis, rather it is a term used to describe the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg.
I have suffered from chronic back pain for many years and as I am getting older, my “back episodes” have become more frequent and more debilitating. I am an ex-nursing sister and more than likely the years of heavy lifting have also affected my spine as well as bad posture and perhaps a bit of neglect too. This year has been particularly bad and I had become frustrated with the unpredictability and instability which would catch me unawares.
“An osteo what?” – The answer nine of my 10 friends gave me when I told them I was seeing an osteopath for a muscle injury. They’re not alone – most South Africans fall into this category. Fact is osteopathy, a “hands-on” manual therapy, has been around since the 1870s (before chiropractic and physiotherapy), but in South Africa it’s still relatively unknown. According to Dr Guy Ashburner (on behalf of the osteopathic profession), there are only 50 registered osteopaths in South Africa compared with more than 5 000 in the United Kingdom.
Pain, pain go away – and don’t come back another day … Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. It’s often caused by swelling of tissue, which creates pressure on nerves and leads to discomfort. Pain is a useful mechanism to alert you to a problem, and stops you from damaging your body further. It should therefore always be taken seriously. Pain can affect many areas of the body, but particularly the lower back, head, neck, joints and legs.
Repetitive strain injury has become a generalised term for conditions derived from repetitive actions. So the category ‘RSI’ suggests the cause or maintaining factor of the presenting symptoms, but due to its lack of accuracy is not a complete diagnosis. An Osteopath or other good diagnostician may for example, gleen from the patient’s history of prolonged periods of typing and an examination with positive signs of pain and swelling over the tendon the RSI appears to be tendonitis or tendinopathy.