This is a term used to describe the pain that stems from the lower back and radiates down the back or side of the leg, occasional down as far as the toes. The type of pain can range from annoying and niggly, to severe agony. It usually only affects one side of the body but can change sides.
Sciatica can come on suddenly, eg. I bent forward to pick up a cup a coffee, or it can gradually increase. It may happen as episodes with pain worsening with the number of episodes, or can increase in the frequency of episodes.
Often painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs have only a slight effect on sciatic pain.
As Osteopaths, we recognize that there are different places causing sciatica. It may come from a bulging disc irritating a nerve. It may also happen when the Piriformis muscle traps the sciatic nerve in the buttock.
There is usually lower back pain associated with Sciatica. It may also give lower leg/ankle pain. Sciatica does not go until these areas have been attended to.