Pinched Sciatic Nerve

With only 5% of back pain sufferers having sciatic nerve symptoms it is one of the rarest lower back problems. Sciatica, known as the symptoms patients’ experience, is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. This is the largest nerve in the body running from the base of the spinal cord to the feet. A primary cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging lower lumbar intervertebral disk that compresses one of the nerve roots before it meets the sciatic nerve. Another cause of sciatic is the Piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle extends from the sacrum to the top of the thigh bone and hip joint (this passes over the sciatic nerve in route). Where a piriformis is stretched it can irritate and compress the sciatic nerve. There are quite a few symptoms associated with sciatica but you should be careful not to confuse more generic back pains with the condition.

Symptoms include:

• Pain: The pain associated with sciatica can come in quite a few forms. Some may experience a burning or itching in the buttocks. As pressure on the nerve increases the pain can travel down the hamstring and end in the soles of your feet. When sitting down, some may experience weakness an increased pain if both sides of the buttocks are paining simultaneously.

• Weakness: Many people with a pinched sciatic nerve experience a weakness in the leg and foot enabling the ability to walk or participate in any mobile activities.

•Pins and needles: This is often perceived as the worse symptom of a pinched sciatic nerve in that there is the sensation of pins and needles prickling the leg, foot, buttocks and lower back areas.

There are several things that can cause an irritation of the sciatic never. Many agree that weakened muscles and poor posture allow for easy shifting which may be the source of dislocation or sudden injury to discs. This could cause the pressingof the sciatic nerve. Aging is also a known cause.

There great news is that there are several ways to treat the pain associated with a pinched sciatic nerve.

Here are a few suggestions:

Hot and Cold compresses: Apply a cold compress or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel and apply the cold compress to the affected area. Leave the compress on the area for about 15-20 minutes before removing. Immediately follow the cold compress with a warm compress to be held on the affected area for the same amount of time. The Healthy Back Institute offers an infrared heating pad with state of the art technology that allows for the deep penetration of heat to the affected muscles for long lasting relief.

Pain Relievers: Consider using an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofens Advil and Motrin to lessen the swelling which can aid in the reduction of pain.

Stretch and Exercise: Minor stretches and exercises can really aid in offering relief to the affected area.

Relax: Be sure to get ample rest. This would also be the perfect time to get a massage. A massage is great for relieving tension and soothing muscles.

If symptoms persist after natural treatments you may want to consider seeing a physician. If you would like more tips on how to soothe back pain or have would like any more information visit


Filed Under: Sciatica
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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