Sciatica & Trapped Nerves

A pain in the backside:

Sciatica is the term that is commonly used to describe the feeling of a ‘trapped nerve’, causing painful symptoms that radiate into the buttock and down the leg. Sometimes pain can travel all the way into the foot. It can be caused by a compression or irritation of a nerve root as it exits the spine. Nerve roots can become impinged by a bulging inter- vertebral disc (herniation), which can cause any of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp pain down, into the buttocks and leg (s)
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Muscle weakness

The sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the body; it is not dissimilar to a thin electrical cable. As it descends into the pelvis and into the back of the thigh, it has to pass through (or near) to, a muscle in the buttock called piriformis. This muscle can get tight and compress the sciatic nerve, causing a condition known as piriformis syndrome.

An osteopathic assessment of the spine and pelvis will often reveal faulty movement patterns and imbalances in the bodies structure. The pelvis can tilt and become slightly ‘twisted’, causing a compensatory curvature in the spine, known as a scoliosis. This can lead to chronic muscle contracture on one side of the spine, predisposing to nerve compression and sciatic type symptoms.

Osteopathy can help to resolve these kind of problems, by helping to balance the arches and curves in the spine. This then helps to release tension and pressure in the lower back.

A Pain in the neck:

Trapped nerves in the neck, shoulders and arms, can also be helped with osteopathic treatment. Referred pain into the upper limb can be caused by nerve root compression in the neck, which can manifest as numbness or pins and needles in the fingers and sharp pains down the arm.

Sometimes serious pathology can manifest with  symptoms of neck and arm pain. For example, heart problems can cause referred pain into the left arm. This is why some clinical tests maybe carried out before treatment commences, to check for any possible underlying medical conditions. Osteopaths are trained to do clinical examinations to check for any underlying medical conditions, also known as ‘red flags’. If a more serious condition is suspected, a referral for further investigations would be made, before treatment begins.


1hr (first session) – £40
45 min follow up – £45

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