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Back Pain And Sciatica

Back pain affects almost all of us at some point of life due to inflamed joints or muscle, repetitive strain to the spine or pelvis/hips, adaptation of bad posture, arthritis/disc injury, muscle spasm, rib pain, shoulder and scapula dysfunction, cervical spondylitis/ trauma (road traffic accident) which can lead to swelling around the nerves and inflammation to certain muscles and ligaments and joints leading to back pain, leg pain(sciatica)/numbness and tingling sensation.

Sciatica 

Sciatica refers to a condition characterized by sharp shooting pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body, originating from the L4- S2 and running through the buttocks beneath the piriformis muscle, down the back of each leg and branching into tibial and common fibular nerves in the feet.

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  1. Herniated or Bulging Disc: A common cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging disc in the spine. The discs act as cushions between the vertebrae, and when a disc becomes damaged or degenerated, the inner gel-like material can protrude and press against the sciatic nerve, causing pain and other symptoms.

  2. Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can occur due to age-related degenerative changes or other conditions. When the spinal canal narrows, it can compress the nerve roots, including the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica symptoms.

  3. Piriformis Syndrome: The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located deep within the buttocks. In some cases, the sciatic nerve can pass through or beneath the piriformis muscle. If the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasmed, it can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica symptoms.

  4. Spinal Misalignment: Structural imbalances in the spine, such as misalignments or subluxations of the vertebrae, can affect the surrounding tissues, including the nerves. These imbalances can create pressure on the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica symptoms.

  5. Compression at greater sciatic foramen, ischial tuberosity, Linea aspera of the femur.

  6. Vertebra fracture at lumbar or sacrum.

  7. Fibrosis of dura matter, narrowing of lumbar canal.

  8. Visceral causes- liver. The epidural veins in the lumbosacral region depend more or less directly on the portal vein systems. Their blockage or swelling causes pressure on the nerve roots and produces sciatica

Causes of Sciatica

Osteopathic Approach:

  1. Release of the piriformis muscle and Sacro-spinal ligaments.

  2. Adjusting the hip , sacrum and the pelvis bone.

  3. Stretching/ manipulation of the sciatic nerve.

  4. Treating the viscera if associated. Pelvic organs/ liver.

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