Sciatica Pain Management
Back pain is one of the most common issues of everyday life that people face in the hustle and bustle of the city. People tend to ignore it, and at a point in time, they even take back pain so lightly that it becomes a part of their daily lives. But if your back pain has been persisting for more than a week or so and it's radiating down to your legs, then it is something that you need to be worried about!
Back pain radiating down to the thighs through the pelvis is a common symptom of Sciatica. For those who don't know what sciatica is, Sciatica is a disorder caused due to the pinched Sciatic nerve. In Sciatica, the sciatic nerve that is the largest nerve of the body gets crushed along the herniated discs radiating pain from your back to all down the legs.
Though the treatment options for sciatica are broad and most often the disease gets cured on its own without even any treatment, the fact that ignorance about the disease can cause permanent damage to the nerve can't also be neglected. Seek immediate medical attention if you feel the symptoms are anything similar to the symptoms of sciatica. You can use sacroiliac support belts from Everyday Medical which are designed to provide the best pelvic support with soft, comfortable and breathable materials.
Causes of Sciatica Pain
There are many options when it comes to determining the causes of Sciatica. It can be your ignorance towards your lifestyle; it can be injuries or other risk factors. The risk factors that can enhance the chances of having sciatica are described below:
- Weight gain.
- Age-related changes in the spine.
- Prolonged sitting in a particular position.
- A job that requires twisting your back.
These risk factors affect the spine adversely and can cause massive damage to the Sciatic nerve if it isn't treated well. Some of the common causes of Sciatica are mentioned below:
- Irritation in the roots of the Lumbrosacral spine or the lower lumbar spine.
- Muscle spasms in the buttocks or the back.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Degenerative disc disease.
If you see any of the symptoms of Sciatica and you don't want to damage your sciatic nerve then better consult a doctor at the initial stage. Seek immediate medical help if you experience loss of feeling in the affected leg, weakness in the affected leg or you have loss of bladder or bowel function. 
Diagnosis for Sciatica
Before opting for diagnosing for sciatica, a doctor will most likely examine the patient’s lower back and ask questions about:
- The level of pain.
- Movements that make the pain worse.
- Whether there has been a prior injury.
- Any other symptoms like if the pain is radiating or not.
Then if necessary, the doctor will also typically perform diverse tests while the person moves the leg back and forth. They will also feel or listen for clicking or grinding joints or see if the joint is warmer than the surrounding tissue and if the joint is enlarged or tender. The doctor will also test the joint’s range of motion and then they may order an X-ray to examine the elbow and will reveal any bone spurs or calcium deposits.
The X-ray can also show loss of space of deterioration between the bones. This will reveal if you have arthritis, sciatica, osteoporosis or just a minor back injury or any other severe issue that has been persisting for a longer period. Also as sciatica is caused by the crushing of a nerve so the doctor will also tend to examine the nerve by diagnostic methods.
What are the Possible Symptoms of Sciatica?
Well, sciatica is an injury that results from any irritation, restriction or obstruction to the sciatic nerve. Being one of the longest nerves of the body, the Sciatic nerve provides the majority of the sensory and motor activities of the lowermost extremity. If you have sciatica you may experience the following symptoms that include:
- Tingling and numbness in the legs and feet.
- Pain in the lower back, buttocks that radiate down the leg.
- A sudden shooting, burning or throbbing pain.
- The pain is worse when standing or sitting but better when lying down.
Causes of Lower Back Pain That May Lead to Sciatica
Lower back pain does not only come from heavy lifting, prolonged standing or sitting. Many other reasons might lead to lower back pain. Some of the reasons or causes include:
Yes, smoking not only causes respiratory tract carcinoma it has many other harmful effects on the body too. Researchers have found two possible ways that how smoking can lead to lower back pain. First one says that smoking decreases blood supply to vertebral discs which lead to immature development of the discs, the discs get weakened, and pain starts to occur.
The second study says smoking affects directly to the pain receptors of the brain, and hence it hampers irrepressible way. That's why it is said that a cigarette has tobacco rolled on one side and a fool at the other! Smoking damages your lungs and can also cause you chronic back pain. So next time think before you light a cigar!
Lower back pain is often seen most in travellers especially in those who travel via plane. The cabins pressurized by air irritates the vertebral discs, making more prone to bulge. This leads to lower back pain. This is the reason why air passengers often experience fatigue as compared to the train or road travellers even when the duration is shorter for the flying crew. Mystery solved!
It is a well-known fact, that the more you gain weight the more you damage your body. Our skeletal system is a framework of our body which is designed to carry the body weight. High fatty food intake hampers on calcium production which is essential for bone development. Our total upper body weight is carried out by the vertebral column.
Again more the weight-more pressure on bones. Weak bones can't carry the weight for long and lead to lower back pain. Osteoporosis and arthritis are common disorders that are caused by a low bone mineral density that decreases the tensile strength of bones, making them more prone to fractures.
Back pain is incredibly common, but you have to discover your back pain causes to recover from it. The common causes of back pain include overexertion, sudden movements, heavy or improper lifting or falling. But only a few of us know that back pain can also be a consequence of subtle triggers like your sleeping position or sitting in the same place in the wrong posture for prolonged hours.
Bad posture can be the most common cause of lower back pain. Think of sitting at your work desk for long hours and your head as well as the neck is bent down like a hunchback. How much pressure would that be causing to your spine? And if your spine is affected, your lower back is most likely to be affected at the same pace. 
Treatment Options for Sciatica
Luckily typical sciatica gets better on its own within a few days. However, if you find that you have recurring pain, there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort. You can opt for acupuncture, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections or the chiropractic treatment. Additionally you can also try sciatica exercises or exercises for lower back pain and the necessary medications, maintain a good posture, use a brace to support your back, sleep in the right way and stop being inclined towards harmful activities like smoking. Yoga and stretching are the best way to avoid sciatica.
There is one other thing that can help to reduce the pain of Sciatica miraculously known as Pilates. Pilates offers similar benefits as Yoga or stretching and are easy to do. The best part is that Pilates is so convenient that you can do most of them seated or reclining, instead of standing and worsening the pain.
Most of the pilates exercises can be quite challenging, and so modifications are suited people at all levels of fitness. Gradually as the workout progresses and strength builds, you naturally progress to stronger movements and having a stronger core makes the entire body feel strong. If you are unable to find the suitable Pilates for Sciatica and are worried about if the exercise will worsen the pain, then consult with a physiotherapist for the better. They will not only help you with assistive exercises for Sciatica but also help you with the balance related issues as well. So start with the preventive measures and better be safe than sorry!