What is sciatica pain?
Sciatica is the pain caused by compression of sciatica nerve. This sciatica nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the human body, and it starts from the lower back, through the buttocks, and runs down the legs and ends below the knees.
This nerve controls many muscles in the lower part of the legs and also supplies sensation to the skin of the foot. This nerve controls several muscles in the lower legs and supplies sensation to the majority of the lower legs and skin of the foot.
Sciatica is categorized in to two types, upon the longevity of the pain as acute sciatica and chronic sciatica.
Acute sciatica (short- term):
This sciatica normally lasts for 4-8 weeks and does not require any professional treatment in many cases. Hot packs or cold packs and exercise can reduce the pain.
Chronic sciatica (long-term):
This sciatica may require treatment that includes various medications along with exercise techniques. In very rare cases surgery can be required. This chronic sciatica pain may lasts for 8 weeks or more.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica is common symptom for many other medical conditions, but around 90 percent of the cases are due to slipped disc(herniated disc). Spine column is made up of vertebrae (bones protecting the underlying nerves), nerves and discs.
The Discs are made up of connective tissue that acts as a cushion between each vertebrae and helps spine to be flexible.
- Sciatica is mainly caused by herniated disc, this occurs when a disc is pushed out of place and putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Lumbar spondylosis
- Infection in the spine,
- Injury in the spine
- Jobs that require over weight lifting for long periods
- Sedentary lifestyle: People who sit and work for longer periods and are physically inactive are more likely to develop sciatica, compared with individuals who are physical active.
- Cauda equina syndrome: This is rare but serious condition requires immediate medical attention. Cauda equina syndrome may sometimes damage the nervous system permanently and even leads to paralysis.
Symptoms of sciatica:The main symptom of sciatica is causes severe pain anywhere along the sciatica nerve, starting from the lower back, runs through buttock and ends down at either of leg( usually only one leg is affected, in very rare cases two legs are affected or causes pain).
- Burning sensation or tingling any of the leg, causing severe discomfort.
- Lower back pain that worsen when sitting
Remedies for reducing sciatica pain:Some of the remedies for reducing sciatica pain include
- Back strengthening exercises or light stretches.
- Hot or cold compression packs helps to reduce the pain. It is better to do both performing alternately.