Sciatica is a pain that runs from the lower back down the leg of one leg, often into the foot and toes. It is caused by an irritation of the sciatic nerve caused by a compression.
Some people suffering from sciatica also can experience a burning, tickling or prickly sensation, usually on one side of the body. The type and amount of pain a person experiences depends on the location of the nerve compression.
In some instances the pain can be very mild, while in others it can be severe and debilitating. Although most people will recover from an episode of sciatica within a few weeks, the pain can sometime worsen over time or persist for much longer. It all depends on the underlying cause.
Sciatica and Nerve Damage
Although it is rare, in some instances sciatica can result in permanent nerve damage. But the irritation of the nerve that causes the sciatica pain usually is reversible.
Symptoms of a more serious medical problem include bladder or bowl incontinence, growing weakness, or the loss of sensation in the leg.
Where the Sciatic Nerve is Located:
Sciatic nerves are the longest in the body. They extend from the lower back all the way down to the toes.
Sciatic nerves exit the spin between two vertebrae in the lower back and travel behind the hip joint down the buttock and along the back of each leg into the foot.
Sciatica is caused by the irritation of one or both of these nerves. Typically, a herniated disc applies pressure on the sciatic nerve root.
Often, people experiencing sciatica have leg pain, which makes them mistakenly think that the sciatica is caused by some sort of problem within the leg.
Other causes of sciatica can include spinal tumors, spondylolisthesis, trauma, spinal stenosis, or sciatic nerve tumor or injury.
Anybody Can Have Sciatica
Many people believe that sciatica is something that only effects people who have a sedentary lifestyle. And while it’s true that sedentary people are more at risk for sciatica, it actually can affect active people as well, especially if they participate in activities that involve twisting the back or carrying heavy loads frequently.
In most cases, sciatica will resolve itself within a few weeks. Treatment options include exercise, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. For some patients, however, the pain can last much longer, so individualized treatment plans are recommended.
Sciatica Treatment Options
Another more natural and less invasive sciatica treatment option is gentle, non-surgical spinal decompression treatment. By gently decompressing the involved spinal discs pressure on the sciatic nerve can be relieved and the pain from sciatica can go away.
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