Sciatica: Everything You Should Know About It

 In Degenerative Disc Disease, Dublin Physio Clinic, Lower Back Pain, Sciatica

In today’s video, David Fitzgerald takes some time to talk about Sciatica, explaining to his viewers the different types that exist and what the various treatments could be for each.

Like always, in this article we will give a brief overview of David’s video so, if you want to know a more in depth explanation of everything, we suggest you watch the video below in order to hear what David has to say.

What are the different types of sciatica?

We start from Classic Sciatica, a problem that can be severe if caused by the nerve root compression and can be resolved through surgical decompression. The issue with this type of sciatica is that there are different types of nerve root compression and disc protrusion and, based on the age of the patient, that can cause different issues and symptoms.

The disc material in younger patients (under 40), in fact, can be described as a soft jelly-like material that when damaged causes a pain in the disc as well as on the nerve that has been squashed in the process. In this type of situation, patients usually present a classic sciatic pain down their leg and in the spine and they usually struggle to sit, bend, twist and turn.

On the other hand, older patients (over 40) usually present a disc material that is no longer soft or “spring-like”, as David defines it which, in some cases, can gradually compress and narrow the space for the nerve, without directly affecting the disc and usually only causing leg pain. The disc protrusion in these patients is a hard bony material and it might take months or even years for them to start experiencing pain. The nerve root, in fact, can adapt quite quickly, until it eventually reaches a critical point where the space is not wide enough anymore and it starts getting agitated, causing pain in the region. This issue can very often be caused by intermittent pressure on the nerve, which consequentially tends to swell, ending up with even more compression on the nerve.

The main reasons behind this problem are often as trivial as playing golf, lying in a certain position for too long or sitting in the same position for a long time-spam.

Other types of sciatica

On the more severe end of the scale we find patients who suffered from a full-blown root nerve compression, leading to such issues as power loss or a sensation of loss of reflexes. In these cases, although decompressed, the nerve never fully recovers, it is therefore essential for clinicians to recognise at what degree of severity people are on the scale. Clinicians are in fact supposed to be aware of this as often it might happen that less severe forms of nerve root irritation might sneak under the radar, with symptoms masqueraded as all sorts of problems. For this reason mainly, it is essential to systematically examine other areas where the symptoms are present in order to figure out if the problem is caused by something in the hip, the knee or even the musculature. This is essential mainly to avoid treating the wrong tissue and not the underlying cause.

The types of sciatica are many and every case is different; this was only a general insight however, if you experience symptoms similar to the ones described in this article, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions but should instead seek professional help and figure out what the best treatment for your problem is. Some types of sciatica might need surgical intervention (we’re talking about roughly 10% of the sciatic population), while others might just need physiotherapy for the problem resolution.

David gives a far more detailed insight to each one of these issues so, if you’re interested in learning more about the different types of sciatica and the various treatments available watch his video and, if you think you need professional help, ask Dublin Physiotherapy for a call back.

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