Sciatica is a term generally used to describe pain that is usually associated with the irritation of compression of one of five nerves roots that ultimately give rise to each sciatic nerve. Pain from sciatic nerve irritation is usually felt in the buttocks, lower back and in many cases that pain has been known to resonate to that legs and foot. Many who have suffered from pain in the sciatic nerve have also reported what is said to be a tingling or numbing sensation in the listed affected areas. The pain associated with sciatica can vary in individuals that are affected. While there are those that may complain of a mild discomfort, others may experience difficulty moving or controlling limbs. Cold weather tends to be a trigger for sciatic nerve pain. More often than not the pain is usually concentrated to one side of the body.
Sciatica is a common form for lower back and leg pain but the causes of the condition tend to vary. There are several causes for the condition. The primary cause is compression of a dorsal nerve root typically in the lumbar region of the back. Spinal disc herniation, which is a herniated intervertebral disc in the spine, and degenerative disc have both been known to contributing to the nerve irritation that causes the condition. Other causes include but are not limited to slipped disc, tumors, trigger points, pregnancy, habits such as poor posture, habitual inaccurate lifting, long periods of sitting and standing, pelvic fracture or injury, spinal stenosis, and piriformis syndrome which is a pain disorder that involves the piriformis muscle in the buttocks.
Many people mistake sciatica for a diagnosed condition when actually the term is simply used to describe a set of symptoms used to describe what is irritating the nerve root and causing pain. To properly identify sciatica is extremely important as the symptoms described directly affect the mode of treatment.
Most symptoms of sciatica are described as follows:
- Sharp pain that may be so intense that there is difficulty standing, walking or performing any locomotive activities.
- Constant pain concentrated in one side of the buttocks
- Numbness, weakness or difficulty moving the leg and/or foot
- Tingling and/or burning traveling down the leg
- Pain in one leg or on one side of the buttocks that gets worse when sitting.
The cause of sciatica varies but usually is a result of compression of lumbar nerves or the sciatic nerve itself. Compressed nerves can be caused by various conditions. Spinal disc herniation, which is a condition where a tear of the outer ring of an intervertebral disc allows the central portion of the disc to bulge out, is a common cause. With spinal disc herniation the affected bulging disc can compress a nerve causing sciatica.
Lumbar spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord, and/or sciatica nerve root, is another cause.
Pregnancy and obesity are also causes. Excessive weight gain can cause added pressure to the lower back resulting in the pinching of nerves. In pregnancy, the uterus often presses on the sciatic nerve.
Treatment for sciatica can range from natural/milder treatments to surgery. It is important that you exhaust all methods of mild treatment before resorting to surgical procedures. Here are a few suggested treatments below:
These are just a few forms of massage treatment, for more information on sciatica treatment with massage visit losethebackpain.com.
- Massage therapy: Massages have been known to increase blood circulation to affected areas while offering muscle relaxation and releases pain causing tension in the lower back.
- Stretching: Stretching the lower back helps to elongate the spine, relieving the compression that may be the cause of the pinched nerves.
- Exercise: Swimming, walking, and yoga have all been known to work wonders for strengthening the back which can be great for preventative care. Try exercises that strengthen your core to eliminate disc slippage.
These are just a few methods of treatment. For more treatment options do not hesitate to visit losethebackpain.com.
Written By: Updated: July 12,2011