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Sciatica Treatment Fremantle | Move Physiotherapy Fremantle

‘Sciatica’ refers to pain and inflammation that affects the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back and down the leg. The source of irritation varies, but this pain can occur as a result of a bulging lumbar disc, tightness in the hip musculature and other conditions such as a spondylolisthesis. 

The pain experienced with sciatica is often worse in the affected leg compared to the back and it may be accompanied with neurological signs such as pins and needles, numbness or weakness. 

sciatica treatment

At Move Physiotherapy, we are experts in sciatica treatment. We also understand how your sciatica can impact your daily work, lifestyle and recreation. We offer 60 minute initial assessments in order to provide a comprehensive assessment of your sciatic symptoms, a clear diagnosis and detailed treatment plan to get you out of your pain and back to the activities you love the most.

Your treatment will often involve a range of physiotherapy techniques, massage therapy or dry needling, in conjunction with appropriate exercise rehabilitation to prevent your pain from recurring.

CAUSES OF SCIATICA FLOWCHART

sciatica causes flowchart

The above flowchart is a basic self-diagnosis tool for your sciatic pain. Please click on the picture to expand the image.

If you are experiencing only back pain without referral into the buttock or hamstring, please view our back pain page for information on potential diagnoses and a similar flowchart for self-diagnosing your lower back pain. 

We highly recommend that if you are experiencing sciatic pain, especially if this is accompanied with neurological symptoms such as pins and needles, numbness or weakness that you are assessed by one of our physiotherapists. You can follow the link at the top of the page, or click here to book your appointment online.

Furthermore, It is important that if you are experiencing neurological symptoms that are extending into both legs (e.g. pins and needles, numbness, weakness) that you consult a physiotherapist or medical practitioner immediately as this may be a sign of a more sinister pathology.

COMMON CAUSES OF SCIATICA

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A disc bulge which results in either a nerve root compression or nerve root irritation will produce a highly specific referral of symptoms into the leg. The specific referral patterns of each nerve root can be seen in the dermatome diagram in the flowchart above.

However, commonly affected is the L5 nerve root, which will result in buttock pain which extends into the outer thigh before wrapping into the calf and the top of the foot.

In addition to experiencing sciatica symptoms, you will often experience typical discogenic back pain symptoms such as pain with bending forwards and sitting for prolonged periods along with pain with coughing, sneezing and deep breathing.

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Another common cause of sciatica is a condition referred as a ‘Piriformis Syndrome.’

The Piriformis is a small hip rotator muscle in your buttock which overlies the sciatic nerve. In a small percentage of the population the sciatic nerve actually passes through the piriformis muscle. As a result, tightness of this muscle can prevent the sciatic nerve from gliding freely through the system and result in pain and tightness in the thigh.

To treat this condition your physiotherapist will release the muscles in your buttock using techniques such as massage and dry needling.

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Your gluteal muscles can also trigger a pain that mimics ‘sciatica’. However where this source of pain differs is that there will be no neurological symptoms such as pins and needles, numbness or weakness in the affected lower limb. Furthermore, there will not be a neurodynamic restriction in the affected leg.

Your physiotherapist can accurately differentiate this type of pain with other causes of sciatica and tailor your treatment specifically for this condition. Your treatment may include massage and dry needling in addition to appropriate exercise rehabilitation.

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Your physiotherapist will combine techniques such as joint mobilisation and manipulation, in conjunction with soft tissue therapies such as massage and dry needling as a part of your sciatica treatment. You will also be given a series of stretches and exercises to be completed at home in order to get you pain free as quickly as possible. Click the image above to read more about our physiotherapy service. 

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Massage is highly effective in eliminating muscular trigger points and relieving sciatic pain. Click on the image and follow the link for more information about our massage service. 

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Move Physiotherapy Fremantle are your experts in Dry Needling treatment, and commonly include this method of treatment in their physiotherapy sessions. Click on the image above, or follow the link for more information about our dry needling treatments. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I Need a Referral From My GP?

No.

Your physiotherapist is a first contact practitioner. Furthermore, in many instances your GP will simply recommend that you receive physiotherapy treatment for your sciatic pain. However, your GP can assist treatment if you require additional pain relief.

Your physiotherapist can advise you whether attending your GP is appropriate, especially in instances where imaging studies (e.g. MRIs or CT scans) need to be taken.

Are There Instances Where I Should Go To a Doctor/Hospital?

Yes.

In instances where you are experiencing pins and needles into both legs at the same time, weakness affecting both legs at the same time and constant pain with no changes in pain intensity regardless of your activity, we recommend that you consult with your GP.

Other issues that may be associated with sciatic pain that require an immediate medical examination include:

  • difficulty passing or controlling urine
  • poor control of your bowels
  • numbness around your back passage or genitals
  • unsteadiness when walking
  • unexplained loss of weight
  • night sweats, chills, fevers, nausea/vomiting or unrelenting night pain.

In these instances, imaging studies such as X-Rays, MRIs or CT Scans are generally taken prior to commencing treatment.

Are Scans Neccessary?

In most cases of sciatic pain, scans such as X-Rays or MRIs are not neccessary in the first 6 weeks. In this period, they will not change the way that your back is treated.

Why Should I Get Sciatica Treatment at Move Physiotherapy Fremantle?

At Move Physiotherapy Fremantle, we consider ourselves to be experts in Back Pain Physiotherapy.

We spend longer with you during your first appointment (60 minutes compared to 30 or 40 minutes at competing clinics) in order to comprehensively assess not only the source of your back pain but also the contributing factors underlying your injury.

We also take the time to understand how your injury is impacting you, and work with you to formulate a plan to get you from pain and injury back to performing at your peak.

Our first appointment always includes treatment, whether this be joint mobilisation, massage, dry needling or simply advice.

Furthermore, if you are not happy, we offer a complete money back guarantee.

OUR SERVICES

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General Physiotherapy

General physiotherapy for chronic and acute conditions.

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Dry Needling

Acupuncture needles applied directly to muscular trigger points to reduce muscle tone and improve blood flow.

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Exercise Rehabilitation

Individually tailored and supervised exercises utilising our fully equipped gym, to help you get moving again after injury or surgery.

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Sports Physiotherapy

Our physiotherapists have experience in a range of sports including Australian Rules Football, Gridiron, Netball and Basketball.

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Massage Therapy

Utilising a range of techniques to improve circulation, blood flow, reduce muscle tension and improve joint mobility.

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Physiotherapy After A Car Accident

Read our guide to making a claim and commencing treatment as quickly as possible.

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