Sciatica is the pain that originates from the lower back and radiates down the back of the legs and sometimes into the feet. It usually happens when sciatic nerve is compressed in your back. Some people experience intense pain, tingling, and others feel weakness, and numbness in their legs.
The sciatic nerve is a large nerve extending from the lower back down to the back of each leg. It controls the sensation and functions to the leg and foot. In sciatica, ‘slipped’ discs tend to project and press on the inter vertebral nerve(s). This pressure irritates the nerve, causing referred pain.
The pain caused by sciatica can range from being mild to be very severe and can occur suddenly or come on gradually.
Some common symptoms of Sciatica include:
. Numbness and weakness
. Irritation down the leg
. Pain in the ankle and foot
. Pain when lifting things
. Hip pain
The most common cause of the sciatica is slipped disc – also known as disc herniation or disc prolapse. This takes place when one of the soft, gel-filled discs between the vertebrae of the spine protrudes or fractured, and/or compressing the sciatic nerve.
Some other causes of sciatica include:
. Muscular spasm in your back
It is the narrowing of spaces in your spine, which can put pressure on the spinal cord
It occurs when one vertebra slips forward over another one and puts stress on the bone and causes severe pain in the lower back. . Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
The main aim of the treatment is to relieve the pain. Bed rest is recommended as the first option but is not the case anymore.
It is recommended to maintain moderate activity and avoid heavy physical activity.
Painkillers such as paracetamol and Acetaminophen are mostly preferred to get relieved from sciatic pain.
Taking physiotherapy sessions helps a lot and some people may get relieved by taking massage and/or acupuncture.
Usually most Sciatica cases are resolved within four to five weeks but in some cases, surgery may be considered in severe and prolonged cases where non-surgical treatment was unsuccessful.