Sciatica is usually a symptom that is caused by an underlying medical condition. Whatever the reason may be, sciatica can cause a person excruciating pain. Poor posture, poor sitting habits, prolonged sitting, driving a vehicle for a living are just a few more common triggers.
Nerve roots from the base of the spine join together to form the sciatic nerve. It is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve sends messages from the brain and back to the legs. It runs from the base of the back, down both legs and into the toes.
The sciatic nerve helps us to move our legs. Enabling us to walk, kneel and run. It also gives us our sensations, meaning that we can feel something brushing against our legs, or if we step on something, such as a Lego Piece or a child’s toy we will feel it all the way up our leg.
Symptoms of Sciatica:
It is a pain that begins in the lower back and travels down the leg into the foot/toes.
You may experience a burning or tingling sensation in the leg.
In advanced cases, sciatica can cause numbness or weakness in the legs which can affect the muscles.
Sciatica usually only occurs down one leg, very rarely both.
Causes of Sciatica:
A trapped nerve in the lumbar area of the spine.
Disc herniation is the medical term for a “slipped disc.” This is when the disc bulges out to the side, putting pressure on the nerves in the lower back.
Piriformis Syndrome is caused when the piriformis muscle in the buttock tightens and causes irritation to the sciatic nerve.
Trigger point referral is another cause of sciatica. Trigger points are knots found in the muscles of the buttocks or lower back. The pain felt is then referred down the leg and into the feet and toes.
If you think that you may be suffering with sciatica it is important that you seek medical advice. Not only do you require treatment for the sciatica, the cause of it also needs to be diagnosed and remedied.
Your medical practitioner will probably give you a complete physical, concentrating on the muscles and joints of the body. You may also be required to have a neurological exam to test the nerves to ensure that they are functioning correctly. Once this is done, a full diagnosis can be made. Then the correct treatment can be organized to assist in your recovery.
Treatment(s) for Sciatica may include:
Massage, Stretching exercises
Cryotherapy (using an ice pack on the painful area)
Other (as directed by your professional)
The chiropractic adjustments help to realign the spine and pelvis, which then relieves the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Massages are beneficial to relax any tight muscles in the back and buttocks. By undergoing some stretching exercise techniques between visits, for chiropractic care, you can aid in the recovery of sciatica. Using an ice pack usually helps to reduce any swelling.
There is a condition called “caudal equine” which can result from suffering with sciatica. This is when you may find that you experience a change in your bladder or bowel movements, or feel numb in your “saddle” area. Coupled with severe back or leg pain and you should promptly seek treatment and alert competent professionals of your concerns.