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Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Sciatica

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Sciatica

Sciatica symptoms, Sciatica treatment

Sciatica is a Medical condition during which a person experiences pain in the leg. The pain originates in the lower back. Sciatic nerve is created by the nerve roots framed at the end of the spinal cord, reaching to the buttock, leg, ankle and foot. Extreme pain in the lower back and leg; accompanied by tingling or numbness causes Sciatica.

Causes of Sciatica

Major causes of Sciatica are Spinal Disc Herniation (slipped disc) – a condition in which the outer ring of the disc gets torn and the central portion of the inter vertebral  disc lumps out. The bulged part gets pressed against the nerve roots and that causes Sciatica.

Apart from that, arthritis can lead to Sciatica. Arthritis may lead to narrowing down of the spinal cord. This creates pressure around the nerve roots and the pain starts. In some cases, injury also causes Sciatica. Any other condition that irritates or compresses sciatic nerve can cause pain in the lower back and leg subsequently.

Symptoms of Sciatica

  • Constant pain in lower back and on one side of the buttock or leg is the one of the most important symptoms of Sciatica. Usually pain occurs in one leg only, in some rare cases it may happen in both legs.
  • The nature of the pain is often described as sharp and intense.
  • In some cases, patients also feel prickling and shooting sensations in the foot.
  • Intensity of the pain tends to increase while making swift movements and shifts.
  • At times, victims experience shooting pain while walking and fail to lift the foot.
  • Sitting or standing in the same position for long can worsen the situation. On the other hand; sleeping or walking can bring some relief from pain.
  • A flex or a sudden crack in the spine can also lead to pain.

Diagnosis of Sciatica

  1. Medical history
  2. Physical examination
  3. X-rays and MRI

Treatment of Sciatica

The specific treatment of Sciatica is defined on the basis of the exact cause of the nerve irritation. Usually, steroids and injections are prescribed by the doctors and often the same is accompanied by exercises to bring quick relief. Usually, Sciatica comes as a short-term condition and gets cured without much trouble if proper care and rest is assured. It is important to note that rest here does not mean bed rest.

In some cases, doctors also advice use of hot pack or cold pack therapy to bring relief from inflammation and pain. A 10 to 15 minutes long session can bring relief from shooting pain.

Another tried and tested treatment for Sciatica is physical therapy. Routine exercise like walking, climbing stairs, making specified moments can help. Electrical stimulation also helps in curing chronic and acute pain. It helps in gaining back the flexibility and strength of the spine as well.

General tips:

  1. Don’t stand or sit in the same position for long.
  2. Don’t perform exercises without observation.
Sciatica Treatment, Sources, Symptoms & Solutions!

Sciatica Treatment, Sources, Symptoms & Solutions!

back pain, sciatica causes
“Lower back pain or buttock pain or is it a leg pain?” If you too are getting such confusing pains more frequently then you need to know about the real culprit which is none other than Sciatica – the longest and the widest nerve in the human body.

Sciatica (pronounced sigh-AT-ih-ka) nerves are about the size of the little finger and comprise of two lumbar nerve roots and sacral roots joining in the lowest part of the spine, passing behind the hip joint, to the buttock, and down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot. Hence, when the pain radiates it travels from back to the foot, confusing our mind.

The pain of sciatica nerve is sharp shooting pain like an electric current and even burns and tingles rigorously. Its intensity ranges from minor to unbearable and there is no fixed pattern as one can experience pain in one leg while numbness in other.

Pinched or an irritated sciatic nerve is the root cause of Sciatica pain which may take place suddenly due to lifting something heavy or moving quickly. Other causes can be:
• A herniated (slipped) disk
• Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back)
• Pregnancy
• Infections in or around the lumbar spine or a tumor
• Injury and internal bleeding
• Muscle spasm in the back or buttocks
• Spondylolisthesis (one backbone slips forward/backwards over another)
• Pinched nerves due to osteoarthritis and fractures
• Carrying large or hard objects in the back pockets or sitting on a hard surface for an extended period of time.
• Overweight, lack of exercise, high heels, sleeping on a mattress that is too hard or too soft, diabetes, and age.

• A throbbing pain with a burning sensation, anywhere along the sciatic nerve
• Numbness in the leg along the nerve
• Tingling sensation (pins and needles) in the feet and toes
• Difficulty moving the leg or foot
• A constant pain on one side of the rear
• A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
• Pain worsens with prolonged sitting, standing, coughing and sneezing

Seek immediate medical attention if you have:
• Loss of feeling in the affected leg
• Extreme weakness and numbness in the upper thighs
• Loss of bowel or bladder function

Hot or cold compression packs – It the simplest and best methods to get instant relief from pain

Acupuncture and massage therapy – Continuous sessions of the traditional Chinese medicine practice – Acupuncture or simple massages can help a healthy release of endorphins – natural chemicals that act like pain relievers.

Physical therapyPhysiotherapy in physical therapy treatment is a low-risk and non-invasive therapy for chronic sciatica pain condition that has given impressive results so far. Electrotherapy machines are easily available, very simple to use and anyone can relief sciatica nerve pain at home on their own, as and when the need arises.

Yoga and stretching exercises – Both are extremely helpful in reducing stiffness, inflammation and pain in a big way since they will help you strengthen your back and relax the stiff areas very well.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – A face-to-face session with a therapist can prove beneficial in controlling and changing self-defeating behaviors regarding sciatica pain and help you in managing it very well.

Complete bed rest for acute sciatica – Stay completely off the feet for several weeks to avoid further complications

Chiropractic Adjustment – A non-surgical spinal adjustment and manual manipulation performed by appropriately trained health professionals, such as chiropractic and osteopathic physicians, focused on providing better spinal column alignment.

Sciatic nerve pain needs timely treatment and can be prevented by taking proper care and some safety measures like staying fit, taking rest, avoiding long hours standing or sitting, exercise, etc. After all, prevention is better than cure.