This term is used quite generally for any pain down the leg. This pain must be taken seriously.
The job of the osteopath is initially to diagnose the main source of the tissue involved as this then helps with the treatment and prognosis.
The aim is to get rid of the pain. The best way to do this is to differentially diagnose the tissue involved to ascertain the problem and treat appropriately.
If it is a disc it will get better with the correct treatment and management.
Is the problem muscular or spinally related?
If there is problem the body may produce an inflammatory response to heal the problem and muscle hypertonia to protect the area.
Our aim as osteopaths is to improve the function of the spine, reduce muscle hypertonia and hence the pain. But it is also important to look at the bigger picture - how are people using their bodies in their chosen sport, or occupation?
Their work station needs to be assessed or how do they pick up those boxes? There may also be other nutritional or stress factors which can have a huge bearing on the successful outcome of the treatment.
All of this is important but when someone comes in for an osteopathic assessment the structure and function of the spine and joints are assessed. We look at factors such as how someone stands, how they bear their weight and if there is there a short leg.