Do You Know the Cause of Sciatica?

What Is Sciatica?

Inflammation of the sciatic nerve causes numbness and pain; however, since there are many conditions that produce inflammation of the sciatic nerve to begin with, “sciatica” is a name for the symptoms.

Sciatica refers to symptoms that appear when the thickest nerve in the human body, which extends from the waist to the legs, is compressed or irritated.
Symptoms often appear on the buttocks (hips) and thighs from the waist down, with numbness and a sharp pain similar to a jolt of electricity running down the calf and toes, tension in the calf, a cold or burning sensation, and weakness in the legs.
In worse cases, chronic pain and numbness may appear, and in more severe cases, it may cause loss of bowel and bladder function, a symptom of back pain that is often seen in middle-aged and elderly people.

What Are the Causes of Sciatica?

Many conditions bring on inflammation in sciatica: not only the herniated discs or spinal stenosis of which we all know but also spinal arthritis, piriformis syndrome, sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, and so on. Therefore, it is necessary to have a test such as an MRI at a medical institution in order to carefully examine sciatica’s cause. Unfortunately, there is no way to understand the real cause of sciatica through osteopathy or massage.

What measures can I take right away if I have the symptoms of sciatica?

Sciatica often occurs in the lower back, lower buttocks, thighs, and calves, so it is important to first seek medical attention if the above symptoms appear.
MRI and x-ray examination will be performed, and the symptoms that you experience in your daily life will be communicated to your doctor, in order to determine the appropriate treatment to be used to prevent the symptoms from worsening, and relieve you to some extent from the worries and pain you have been experiencing. Avoid passing your own judgment and consult the nearest clinic or hospital.
We can also perform MRIs and X-rays at our clinic.

What Is the Treatment for Sciatica?

The cause of numbness and pain is inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The inflammation itself almost always subsides in about 3-7 days, so if pain is intense in the meantime, taking painkillers is no problem. Rarely, if the degree of inflammation is severe, numbness and pain may continue for about 1 month, but it is no problem.
Most of the cases in which symptoms improve naturally are caused by things like mild hernias or spinal arthritis, and they are treated similarly to a sprained hand or foot. That is to say, the general rule for treatment in the initial stage is observation.

However, if symptoms continue for more than 1 month, the pain is too intense, or symptoms appear repeatedly, there may be a possibility that surgery is needed, so it is necessary to undergo an investigation of the cause at a medical institution.

At our clinic, we can do a careful examination of sciatica’s cause, and outpatient treatment for frequent causes of sciatica such as herniated discs, spinal arthritis, and spinal stenosis is also possible.

How to prevent sciatica?

It is very important to exercise in some measure, to the extent that it does not interfere with your everyday life.
It is also important to take up stretching exercises and reconsider your usual posture in order to improve your back pain.
At our clinic, we offer exercise guidance after your treatment. We will provide you with an exercise program that is appropriate for your symptoms and your condition, and you will be able to incorporate it in your daily exercise routine. Our goal is to help you get the most out of the program.
We can also create a personalized back pain program and a training especially for you after several visits to our rehabilitation facility.
Here is the link to the rehabilitation facility specialized in back pain that works in association with our clinic:

Q&A about our sciatica treatment

  • question

    What is the difference between low back pain and sciatica?


    Low back pain and sciatica are both generic terms for symptoms, not diseases.
    It is also quite difficult to distinguish between low back pain and sciatica, and it is generally considered to be sciatica if neurological symptoms on the lower back and lower limbs (legs) appear.

  • question

    Is it possible to cure sciatica without having recourse to surgery?


    Even if sciatica can be relieved through different methods, these do not represent a complete improvement at the root level.

  • question

    What can I do to treat sciatica?


    Avoiding nerve compression as much as possible is one effective way.
    If you are in a sitting position for a long time, you need to pay attention to stand up and ease compression once an hour, or to use therapeutic exercise to relieve muscle tension.

  • question

    Is there any way to relieve sciatica pain?


    In the case of chronic low back pain or sciatica, loss of physical strength and a decline in muscle strength may be involved, so inner muscle training may be required.

  • question

    Can the ILC International Lumbago Clinic treat sciatica?


    Yes, we can.
    Sciatica, which is a symptom of conditions such as lumbar disc herniation and lumbar spinal stenosis, can be treated to eliminate the inflammation and improve the condition.
    First of all, a diagnosis must be made to determine if you are eligible for treatment.

International Lumbago Clinic and International Lumbago Medical Fitness Center collaborating on herniated disc-related back pain treatment

Our clinic offers a variety of outpatient disc herniation treatment methods, among which is the DST procedure that can effectively repair and regenerate vertebral discs. However, sometimes the cause of back pain may also be related to the adjacent muscles, joints, and ligaments. For this reason, we highly recommend that medical fitness therapy is combined with disc herniation treatment. The International Lumbago Medical Fitness Center in cooperation with our clinic offers an intensive short-term medical fitness course for patients from abroad.)

International Lumbago Clinic

Outpatient Disc Herniation Treatment

Improves symptoms related to medical conditions
in the low back causing nerve root irritation

International Medical Fitness Center

Special Back Pain Rehabilitation

Improves symptoms related to medical conditions of the joints,
muscules and ligaments in the low back area

5 Types of Outpatient Treatment for Low Back Pain

  • The DST Method (Discseel™)

    An intervertebral disc treatment that began in the United States in the 2010s. Can be suitable for a wide range of conditions, including problems in patients after surgery. It is the only (※2)treatment that can repair and regenerate intervertebral discs.
    ※2 According to research by Operation Japan (Ltd.)

    Click here for details.
  • The PIDD Method (Implant)

    An implant intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted since the 2000s. As with PLDD, results without injury to intervertebral discs can be anticipated. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.
  • Hybrid Laser Treatment

    A treatment that combines the benefits of PLDD and PODD. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.
  • The PODD Method (Ozone)

    An ozone intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted mainly in Europe since the 1990s. It can be suitable for a wide range of conditions.

    Click here for details.
  • The PLDD Method (Laser)

    An outpatient, laser intervertebral disc treatment that has been well known worldwide since the 1980s. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.