Much less common than lower back pain, less than 40% of people will experience sciatica.
Sciatica is a condition which is often diagnosed, sometimes incorrectly, when someone has pain in their lower back, buttocks and or leg. Sciatic pain is a specific type of nerve, lancinating or electric pain down the back of your leg which can reach all the way to your foot. It often occurs without back pain and is the result of impingement or compression of your sciatic nerve.
The nerve can be impinged by a bulging disc, osteophytes or bony protuberances on your spine, inflammation or swelling or even extremely tight or spasmed muscle. Sitting or any kind of increased pressure at the base of your spine can make the pain worse. Relief comes when the cause of this pressure is released. Imaging is often required to determine the underlying cause of sciatica before a treatment plan is devised.
Osteopathic treatment and acupuncture can help to release surrounding tissues and decrease inflammation and potentially decrease the pain associated with sciatica.