This is a very common diagnosis, a lot of patients seek osteopathic treatment complaining of suffering from sciatica, but in fact this merely is acute lower back pain or piriformis syndrome.
Osteopaths, as musculo-skeletal specialists, help all patients suffering from sciatica, especially if it is by referring them to their GP or A&E.
Sciatica is an irritation of the sciatic nerve, and will present with raging pain down the lower extremity all the way down to your foot. This is an unremitting, deep, boring type of pain. Ultimately this can lead to loss of strength in some of the leg muscles. Depending on the etiology of the sciatica, especially if it is traumatic, you may require emergency surgery to prevent long term pressure on the sciatic nerve, and paralysis.