The sciatic nerve is a very special nerve of the body because it is the longest nerve. The sciatic nerve spans from the lower back to your legs. When the sciatic nerve is irritated or injured, this causes pain, which is referred to as sciatica. Sciatica can be very severe and is known to cause people to lose their ability to walk without feeling pain. Sciatica is classified by a throbbing pain in the legs and lower back. It lasts anywhere between a few days to about a month and can return at anytime. Symptoms also include a burning sensation in the legs, weakness, pain and numbness. The pain may even spread beyond the leg and into your feet and even waist.
The sciatic nerve can become irritated because of many problems. Sciatica is really just a symptom of something else that has or is taking place in the body. It is the reaction to problems that caused the nerve irritation to begin with. Sciatica is usually caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. This can be due to piriformis syndrome, stenosis, a herniated disc or some other degenerative disc condition. When you have sciatica, it is a sign that you need to address the issue that is prompting you to have pain. Sciatica is by no means an independent condition. Within the spinal column are nerve roots that are attached to the sciatic nerve. When there is something that compresses or disrupts the nerve root, the sciatic nerve reacts negatively. Irritating disruptions to the nerves in the spinal column can affect your entire body.
Since sciatica comes and goes, there is no all encompassing treatment that will stop it permanently. If the cause of sciatica isn’t addressed, the pain will return. There is no cure for sciatica because it is a symptom rather than a condition. The range of severity is different for everyone. Some people may be able to find comfort in hot or cold packs, while others will need more involved treatments like physical therapy, exercise, massage therapy, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Sciatica can’t exactly be treated, but it can be managed. One of the emerging methods of sciatica pain management is acupuncture. Acupuncture treatment is ancient has origins in Chinese and African culture. The root of acupuncture is based on the energy of the body, also known as qi. When your energy has a flow and balance, the body will circulate better. When there is a blockage of energy, the body does not respond will to pain and injury.
In Chinese culture, sciatica and other types of pain stemming from back problems, happens as a result of a blockage of blood. Acupuncture treatments involve the insertion of fine needles in the areas of the body that require a better flow. Many people find relief from sciatica and other injuries through acupuncture treatments. Western medicine has traditionally been opposed to agreeing that acupuncture is a legitimate method of treatment for sciatica but more recently has been making the connection.
Written By: Updated: July 1,2011