Sciatica is pain that radiates or refers into your leg usually as a result of a lower back problem. Sciatica may appear to run down the whole leg or appear in specific parts of your leg and requires a thorough assessment to identify its cause.

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The symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Pain or aching in the buttock, thigh, calf, shin or foot
  • Pins and needles
  • Increased pain when lifting, straining or coughing
  • Loss of power to the muscles of the leg and food


The area of the spine that takes the most load from movement and activity is the lower back or lumbar region. This consists of five relatively large vertebrae. The discs cushioning these vertebrae can bulge, tear and decrease in height due to repeated bending or prolonged sitting and can result in sciatica for ‘no apparent reason’. There does not need to be an acute episode to cause sciatica. Your Physiotherapist will perform specific tests to assess the degree and type of sciatica you are experiencing.

Treatment and management options

With early intervention from your Physiotherapist and a specific treatment plan, most cases of sciatica will resolve within six weeks to three months. Some management suggestions are:

  • Rest from aggravating activity (no prolonged sitting)
  • Taping from your Physiotherapist
  • Using a lumbar support or placing a lumbar roll behind your back while sitting
  • Gentle exercises to strengthen and support the lower back

Whatever stage you’re at, we’re ready to help.

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