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Firstly, what is the sciatic nerve? Here is a brief anatomy lesson for you! The sciatic nerve is a major nerve of the lower limb. It is a thick rope like band approximately 2cm wide, which makes it one of the largest nerves in the body. The sciatic nerve derives from the spinal cord in the lower back. It stems from several nerve roots (L4-S3) which then come together to form the sciatic nerve and enters the gluteal region. It then travels down the back of the thigh, and as it reaches the back of the knee it then splits into two separate nerves called the tibial and common peroneal nerves. Two of the main roles for the sciatic nerve or any nerve is to supply motor (movement) and sensory (sensation) functions. The sciatic nerve innervates muscles of the leg to allow movement and sensation for the lower leg and foot.
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when the softer interior of the disc pushes out through the tough exterior of the disc. Other causes of sciatic nerve pain are listed below:
Common symptoms of sciatica include one or several of the following:
If you have any other unusual symptoms such as disrupted bladder or bowel function, altered sensation between your legs or genital area, weakness in one or both legs, a history of cancer, unremitting night pain or sweats, unexplained weight loss, please inform your physiotherapist or GP. This symptoms needs to be addressed promptly.
Your physiotherapist will consider your symptoms and factor in your lifestyle when planning your treatment plan. Ultimately your physiotherapist will educate you in how to manage your symptoms and help you return to previous function as timely as possible. Here are some tips and things to consider during your recovery.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms please contact the clinic today to book an appointment with one of our trained physiotherapist. We now have an online booking system or you can also contact the clinic on 01 660 6582.