Home > Causes of Back Pain > What is Sciatica?

What is Sciatica?

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 6 Jul 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Sciaitca; Symptoms; Nerves; Pressure;

Sciatica is a term used to describe pain that stems from the lower back and radiates down the back of the leg occasional down as far as the toes.It is a fairly common condition and mainly affects those between the ages of 25 and 50.The pain experienced can range from being a very annoying and niggling pain, to severe and debilitating agony. Usually affecting only one side of the body at a time, it is often a recurring (intermittent) condition that seems to worsen with every episode.

Pain maybe accompanied by feelings of burning, tingling or even numbness in the legs, sometimes with pain in the lower back also. These symptoms all add to a decrease in mobility and a restriction of carrying-out everyday activities.The degree of symptoms depends on the amount of pressure exerted on the nerve, the sufferer’s pain threshold and whether it is a first episode or a recurring incident.

Causes Of Sciatica

The most common cause of sciatica is due to a herniated or protruding intervertebral disc; this causes the compression or irritation of the nerve roots around that area of herniation.A disc can herniated by demonstrating poor lifting techniques, awkward bending, or sometimes from a simple sneeze or twist that is done in the wrong way and ‘jerks’ the body.

Other causes can include spinal stenosis of the lumbar region, degenerative disc disease or general wear and tear of the structures of the lower back. These conditions cause the nearby nerves to become inflamed through irritation. When treated correctly, the inflammation should have subsided within three weeks. It is very rare for sciatica to be present permanently and also extremely unusual for there to be any long-term nerve damage. As the spinal cord has divided into nerve branches by the time it reaches the lower back, the chance of paralysis is very negligible.

Sciaitca is also common in the later stages of pregnancy when the enlarged uterus presses on the sciatic nerve. In this scenario, the pain is usually resolved after delivery of the baby.

Treatments For Sciatica

Treatment for sciatica is usually achieved by determining the cause of the nerve irritation and resolving that condition. This will relieve the symptoms of the sciatica, and is much more productive than by simply reducing the inflammation alone.Once the underlying cause has been found and a plan of treatment formed for that, the symptoms can be addressed. As the main cause of pain is from irritation of the nerves, a suitable anti-inflammatory medication will be suitable. Stretching and exercise are recommended when the initial pain has begun to decrease. Movement helps to reduce inflammation, and also encourages blood circulation, meaning that oxygen and nutrients reach the affected area and aids the healing process.Very occasionally your GP might suggest the use of muscle relaxant drugs or steroids.

It is very rare for surgery to be indicated, and when needed it is to removed the part of the herniated disc that is causing the compression to the nerve.Some people benefit from the use of a chiropractor or massage therapist.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I have been to see a chiropractor, I've had an x ray I've been told I have a tilted pelvis@my coccyx is tucked under Neath, also 2,3,@4 vertebrae are problems, what can a chiropractor do @ how many sessions would I need? Thank you.
Debz - 6-Jul-15 @ 5:40 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • rAY
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    hI THERE, I have Dyhydration L3/l4 and ll4/l5 and disprotrusion and sequestrated discu after MRI i am aged 52. I had hip pain all night for 3…
    3 April 2019
  • UKez
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    Hi . I also had a spinal Tap to check the stages of a bleeiding in my brain. This has caused me serious back pain almost…
    3 July 2018
  • BackPainExpert
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Alex - Your Question:I am a 27 yr old male who up until last year was working 84-108 hrs/week and always had back problems but all the doctors I…
    23 May 2018
  • Alex
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    I am a 27 yr old male who up until last year was working 84-108 hrs/week and always had back problems but all the doctors i had seen told me its…
    16 May 2018
  • Salsybar
    Re: Stem Cell Repair and Back Problems
    Hi I have annulus bulges at c4 -c5- c6 I have disc dessication,bulges , minmally prominent of the spinal cord t6-t7 t7-t8…
    9 May 2018
  • malky
    Re: Back Pain: Information for Employers
    I've enjoyed reading all your stuff and hope the stem cell injections come on to the market soon as I've been off work 5…
    8 May 2018
  • Jeeva
    Re: Spinal Dislocation
    My friend have pain in lumbar region. It cause breathing effects during sleeping.in MRI scan it shows that there is a dislocation in lumbar region
    17 April 2018
  • Agsmith78
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    I had a spinal tap 3 years ago and still suffering from back, hip and left leg pain along with occasional weakness. Nothing…
    5 April 2018
  • Rubi
    Re: Stem Cell Repair and Back Problems
    What are the 2 basic functions of the spine?
    24 March 2018
  • Kumar
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    What is the surgical procedure of disc dehydration
    9 March 2018