While Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, it is a commonly described symptom by Lower Back Pain patients.
The Sciatic Nerve is formed in the lumbar spine and travels down the posterior part of your leg towards your foot. For various reasons, this nerve may become irritated, compressed or inflamed. This can cause pain and various other symptoms to be experienced. You may be feeling pain that is described as searing or burning down your leg, constant pain in your buttock area or other neurological symptoms.
Sacro-illac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction is the term given to pain and symptoms that arise from the joint sin you buttock area. It is estimated that up to 30% of lower back pain arises from the Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
The Sacroiliac Joints are the joints that connect the wedge-shaped sacrum to each pelvic bone. The Sacroiliac joints are designed to absorb and transfer your weight from your legs to your spine when walking, because of this they are inherently strong and stable.
Nerve Root irritation
Lumbar Nerve Root Irritation is when your nerves become sensitised or irritated as they exit your spine.
This can be because of changes in structure in your spine, like arthritis or osteophytes forming, and it can also be because of inflammation formed by the repetitive strain of soft tissue structures in your lower back. When this happens, the nerve roots become irritated and pain can be felt down your leg. You may also feel changes in sensation, like; numbness, tingling or pins and needles.
Lumbar Nerve Root Compression or Lumbar Radiculopathy refers to pain or neurological symptoms that arise from compression of the nerve root as it leaves the spine to travel down the leg.
The pain that arises is commonly felt in the leg and is commonly referred to as sciatica or lumbago. Weakness, numbness or other neurological symptoms may also be present.
Will my Lower Back Pain go away?
Yes, lower back pain is very treatable in a large majority of cases. Once we have established that there is no medically serious cause of your lower back pain, we can establish a treatment plan to help you to get rid of your lower back pain. Once you have been assessed, it is common for both your pain and function to steadily improve, and most people will see full resolution of their Lower Back Pain within 12 weeks.
Do I need to get an MRI or X-Ray for Back Pain?
In most cases, no. While imaging can be helpful to identify any medical conditions or any structural damage that may be causing your lower back pain, these types of conditions are rare. Your physiotherapist will be able to let you know if you will require one, and can work with your doctor to organise a referral. If you have already had a scan, bring it in and your physiotherapist can go through it with you.
What are the different types of Lower Back Pain?
Most Lower Back Pain does not arise from any structure in your back specifically, instead it is likely a combination of factors that is causing your lower back pain. However, there are some specific causes that you may have been diagnosed with.
- Lumbar Nerve Root Compression (Radiculopathy)
- Nerve Root Irritation
- Lumbar Disc Prolapse
- Sacro-Iliac Joint Dysfunction