Sciatic Nerve Pain Better Explained

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Before going to the proper sciatica nerve pain exercises and remedies, it is best to explain what it is so that you can better understand and manage it. Why? Because it is often misunderstood and misused by people who think they have it.

Primarily, Sciatica is a set of symptoms which cause a pain in the certain area of your body, around the sciatic nerve. Its technical definition would say that it is pain caused by irritation or compression of one or more of the nerves that exit the lower spine. (The nerves that exit the lower spine are called sciatic nerves. There are different conditions which may cause you pain in this area.

Medical term: Sciatica is technically also known as radiculopathy. The technical definition of this term is that the nerve root in the lower back is being pinched or irritated either by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or a lower back disorder. The nerve runs from the lower back through the back of each leg and goes to the other parts of the leg, foot and toes, which is the reason why pain is felt not just on the sciatic area but can crawl down to the buttocks, thigh, calf, foot and toes.

Symptoms:

Sciatica is characterized by a combination or one of the symptoms below:

  • Constant pain in ONLY one side of the buttock down to the leg (it rarely can occur in both legs)
  • Pain worsens when you sit down especially during long periods of time
  • Burning, searing or tingling leg pain (not a dull ache)
  • Numbness, weakness or difficulty in moving your leg or foot
  • Sharp pain which makes it difficult for you to stand up or walk

The pain may vary from infrequent to irritating, constant to incapacitating. The severity and symptoms also may differ and depending on location and condition, the pain is commonly caused by a lumber herniated disc.

Sciatica (or sciatic nerve pain) occur when the large sciatic nerve is irritated in the lumbar spine. It starts at the lumbar segment 3 or L3. Then at each level of the lower spine, a nerve root exits from the inside spine and these nerve roots come together to form the sciatic nerve. It then runs at the lower back of each leg starting from the buttock branching out.

It rarely occurs in people who are in their 20s. The pain is usually felt by people who are in their middle age and the pain peaks at the age of 50, and after that declines. It is not caused by an event or an injury but develops through time. There are symptoms which require immediate attention like surgical intervention but in most cases, therapy is the right solution, self care and most of the time non-surgical.

Facts About Sciatica

Fact 1 : Sciatica Can Last For a Long Period of Time

In some cases wherein pain unbearable, surgery can be the best solution. It is always rule of thumb to avoid surgery at all possible costs but if this is the only solution for a debilitating pain, then it should not be postponed. If the conservative, non invasive treatments like therapy, chiropractor, injections and the like cannot do the job, then surgery may be the most effective solution.

Fact 2: Surgery Can be the Only Solution for Some

In some cases wherein pain unbearable, surgery can be the best solution. It is always rule of thumb to avoid surgery at all possible costs but if this is the only solution for a debilitating pain, then it should not be postponed. If the conservative, non invasive treatments like therapy, chiropractor, injections and the like cannot do the job, then surgery may be the most effective solution.

Fact 3: Exercise is of Paramount Importance to Heal the Cause of Sciatica

Although bed rest is good especially in injuries, for Sciatica exercise is essential. The initial flare up usually lasts a day or two, which means that you have to be resting in bed during these times. But after the bed rest, exercise and movement is important. Avoiding physical activity after this though can lead to a downward spiral of pain episodes leading to inactivity, which will cause more pain.

Proper exercise can help reduce lower back muscle problems. It can strengthen the muscles that support the back and the spine, keeping the hamstrings flexible. By doing this, you lessen the stress in your lower back which aggravates lower back pain.

Fact 4: It is best to Consult a Doctor rather than Self Treat it

Never attempt to self treat without consulting a specialist! Although it might just be an irritating condition at first, it can be a debilitating condition if improperly self treated. The best thing to do here is to consult a doctor, a therapist or a chiropractor. A health professional will be able to assess your situation and point you to the right direction towards your healing process. A professional health practitioner will be able to detect if your condition is serious and needs immediate intervention to prevent further injury.

Do not take things into our own hands!

Do not take this condition lightly, if you think you have leg problems, calf pain, buttocks pain, it might be cause by sciatica. Sciatica, as a condition, can be treated and can be healed in just a few weeks but if improperly treated, you can worsen the situation. Heal yourself by following the proper steps. Knowing what sciatica is, is the first step. You are well on your way to heal that leg pain or that irritating pain in your buttocks.

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