Sciatica is often the reason for leg and back pain. It usually happens when there is an injury or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts from the lower back to the legs and into the feet. Some of the common symptoms of sciatica are numbness, pain, and weakness in the lower back, leg, foot, and buttock. The pain can shooting, sharp or dull and it varies from person to person. It can be constant or can come and go. You can visit Health bound to take a physiotherapy session. Alternatively, Sciatica can be managed at home if it is in the preliminary stage.
It is said that around 40% of people experience sciatica in their lifespan. It usually happens when there is an injury or inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
What are the causes of Sciatica?
Sciatica happens because of the irritation of the sciatic nerve. Some of the common causes are mentioned below:
- Bulging disc – The spinal discs of a human body works as a cushion between the spinal vertebrae. The spinal vertebrae are the bony part of the spine and if one of the discs moves out of place, it can create pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Degenerative disc – Over some time, the spinal discs start to wear out and it can lead to increased pressure on the sciatic nerve. It results in sciatica.
- Osteoarthritis – The bony projections that develop along the bone edges can compress the sciatic nerve and you would be able to feel the symptoms of sciatica.
- Pregnancy – When you are pregnant, the center of gravity changes which makes your joints more elastic. These changes in your body can result in sciatica back pain and sciatica nerve pain in your legs and buttock.
- Injury – Sciatica can be caused due to pelvic fracture and back injury. If you have had a previous injury, you might get to experience sciatica symptoms.
- Spondylolisthesis – This is a condition when one vertebra slips forward over another. If you have the problem of spondylolisthesis, you can experience sciatica.
Sometimes, the following factors cause sciatica:
- Spinal tumor – Some cancerous tumors or benign are located in the spinal column which can irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis – If the spinal canal narrows down like the tunnel, that can cause the sciatic nerve to compress.
- Nerve damage – If you are suffering from diabetes, there are chances that your sciatic nerves can get affected and cause sciatica.
- Being overweight – When you are obese and do not exercise regularly, your body weight can pressurize the sciatic nerves and it can cause sciatica.
- Other factors – Smoking, wearing high heels regularly, and sleeping on a too hard or too soft mattress can also trigger sciatica.
What are the symptoms of Sciatica?
Sciatica generally affects one side of the lower body. The pain often extends from the lower back to the thigh and leg. Some of the common symptoms of sciatica are mentioned below:
- Severe lower back pain
- Unbearable pain in the rear or leg and it gets worse while sitting.
- Pain on the hips.
- Tingling or burning sensation down the entire leg.
- Numbness or weakness on the foot or leg.
- Continuous pain on one side of the rear.
- A sharp pain that makes it almost impossible to stand up.
How to treat Sciatica at home
The sciatica pain can sometimes be severe and sometimes infrequent. When the pain is unbearable do seek help from Health bound. At the initial stages, you can do the following things at home.
– When you experience sciatica symptoms, you should decrease your activity immediately. It will help to minimize the unnecessary irritation of the sciatic nerve and allow it some time to heal. Experts do not recommend complete bed rest It is better to get up and move around slowly and gently. Avoid the specific movements that might increase the pain.
– You can perform some stretching exercises of the lower back at home. It will help to bring some relief to the sciatic nerve. Do not twist the back. Perform slow and gradual stretches.
– Applying a pack of ice or a bag of frozen veggies can smooth out the irritated area and bring some relief to you. Keep the ice on the affected area for around 20 minutes every day. Soon after the symptoms begin, cold therapy is the most helpful regime.
Application of heat
– If the sciatic symptoms have persisted in your body for more than three days, you can try to apply heat instead of cold. Hot packs or heating pads can bring is a relief to some extent.
-There are various anti-inflammatory medicines available in the medicine counters. You can consume them to wave off the pain and inflammation.
When should you visit the doctor for sciatica?
In many cases, sciatica will get resolved in a few days. However, at times, it may become worse. If the problems and the pain persists in your body for a longer duration, you should see a doctor for treatment at Health bound. Immediate medical help is crucial if you experience:
- Loss of the leg sensation or movements
- Loss of the bladder or bowel control
Who to consult for sciatica?
If the sciatica symptoms get worse rather than recovering, you should visit the general practitioners or the family doctors. They are good at treating simple cases of sciatica. Physical therapists and chiropractors also treat patients dealing with sciatica. The best person to be contacted is the neurologist or the physician who specializes in the nervous system. They can manage severe cases of sciatica and help you recover at the earliest.
It is said that around 40% of people experience sciatica in their lifespan. Some can get cured with self-care, whereas some would require special medical attention. If you are not sure about the symptoms, contact your physician right away before the problem becomes acute.
Have you or a loved one suffered with sciatica?
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