Sciatica Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Preventive Measures
Sciatic Nerve Pain
Have you ever heard of Sciatica? Do you know where the Sciatic nerve is located in your body? If you don't know, then there’s some relevant information for you here! The most common reason for lower back and hip pain in women is Sciatica. The Sciatic nerve is a nerve extending from the lower portion of the back to the leg region.
Sciatica happens when pressure is applied in the Sciatic nerves due to herniated discs radiating pain from your back to all down your legs. You are more likely to experience leg numbness and pinning or sensations that may cause difficulty in walking or moat precisely muscle weakness. The treatment methods include medication, sciatica exercises and physiotherapy for pain relief.
If you are experiencing sudden bouts of lower back pain that's gradually going down your legs and been persisting for more than 48 hours, then that’s Sciatica. It is caused when the Sciatic nerve that extends from the lower back to the legs gets crushed over by the herniated discs that constantly keep applying pressure in the nerve.
The process is extremely painful, and you can feel your legs and back burning or someone pinning needles in your legs. You should better try to consult a doctor as soon as the symptoms are visible, so the pain doesn't get chronic with each passing day.
Causes and Risk Factors for Sciatica
Sciatica is elementarily caused by the irritation of the roots of the lumbosacral spine or the lower lumbar spine. Additional common causes of Sciatica include:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis that is also otherwise known as the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back.
- Muscle spasms in the buttocks or the back.
- Breakdown of the intervertebral discs that serve as a cushion between the vertebrae and hence reducing the friction. The condition is known as Degenerative disc disease.
- Spondylolisthesis that is a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one.
Other things that can make your sciatica pain worse or may cause sciatica include obesity, wearing high heels, not exercising regularly and sleeping on a mattress that is too hard or too soft.
The possible risk factors for sciatica include:
- Age-related changes in the spine.
- Prolonged sitting.
- Occupation or more precisely a job that requires you to twist your back.
It is true that most people recover from sciatica often without treatment but the fact that sciatica can potentially cause permanent nerve damage can't also be denied. Seek immediate medical attention when you have:
- Weakness in the affected leg.
- Loss of bowel or bladder function.
- Loss of feeling in the affected leg.
What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?
The name for this disorder is derived from the name of the Sciatic nerve that connects the spine to legs, and as a result, the inflammation of this nerve can cause unbearable pain in legs and feet and feels like someone is pinning needles in the leg or the legs are burning. Sciatica occurs when a herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve and can last for more than 72 hours. You may start noticing the symptoms at the initial stage or after a certain period. As most of the symptoms are paired with back pain, people often mistake the term for common back pain. Here are some of the visible symptoms of sciatica listed below:
- Lumbar back pain.
- Hip pain.
- Tingling or burning down the leg.
- Numbness, weakness or difficulty in moving the leg or foot.
- Constant pain on one side of the rear.
- A shooting pain that makes it considerably difficult to stand up.
- You may have trouble controlling your bowel or bladder.
- The pain is worse when standing or sitting but better when lying down.
Though mild sciatica may go away on its own but with chronic sciatica the effects are seen for a quite prolonged duration. Also remember that stress and worry are risk factors for lower back pain and can hinder recovery as well as increase the pain. Although most backache or pain are not serious but experiencing the above symptoms can be worrying.
The important thing to remember is to seek medical advice if you are concerned about aspects of your health. Ignoring your back pain symptoms are not going to help you in any way as this won’t make them go away or change the eventual diagnosis. The earlier the exact cause of your symptoms is detected and the sooner any potential health problems are addressed, the sooner you receive the correct treatment.
What can be the Possible Preventive Methods?
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, including:Yoga/stretching
If you introduce yoga or stretching into your fitness regime then you are most likely to have a few symptoms of back pain. And specifically, exercises are the best medicines for back pain. Simple exercises like walking can also be very helpful. On the one hand where activities are helpful, on the other you should stay away from strenuous activities like gardening and avoid whatever motion caused the pain in the first place.Maintain Good posture
The people working at a particular desk have to sit for long hours in front of the computer screens holding their neck and head forward while working or cradling a phone to the ear. This can lead to neck strain, sore shoulders and back pain along with strain in the cervical vertebrae.
Sitting for long hours can also lead to herniated disks. To prevent this keep the right amount of curvature in the back as this will take pressure off the nerves and reduce back pain. There’s no particular lower back pain treatment. Specifically, prevention is the best option if you want to avoid the root of back pain.Ditch the brace
Yes you heard that right. It’s really good if you are pampering your back muscles with a brace and supporting them but using the brace more often can lead your back to entirely depend on the brace which can reduce your muscle strength.See a specialist
See that’s good if you can manage your back pain on your own or you are taking the necessary preventives for your back pain but if you are unable to do so then better rush for a specialist who will do all the work for you.Sleep the right way
Back pain is incredibly common, but you have to discover your back pain causes to recover from it. Only a few of us know that back pain that comes along with sciatica 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.Quit smoking
This may sound absurd to you, but smoking not only kills you by damaging your lungs, but it can also cause back pain for you. So stop relying on unhealthy habits and start living the healthy way.
What are the Exercises for Sciatica?
Sciatica is not itself a condition but a very excruciating and uncomfortable symptom of several potential issues in the pelvis, back and hip. People with sciatica may often experience a pain running down their pelvis down their legs, and they feel helpless about it. Certain sciatic nerve stretches can provide relief for some people experiencing sciatica related pain. Sciatica pain relief exercises are the one stop solution for those who want to reduce the pain. Here are some exercises or precisely saying stretches that can help to reduce the pain to an extent:
- Cobra or modified Cobra.
- Knees to chest.
- Seated spinal twist.
- Seated hip stretch.
- Standing hamstring stretch.
- Sitting pigeon pose.
- Forward pigeon pose.
- Reclining pigeon pose.
- Sitting spinal stretch.
- Knee to the opposite shoulder.
Most of these are simple stretches that help to relieve sciatica pain by loosening your piriformis and gluteal muscles, which can easily be inflamed and pressed against the Sciatic nerve. Some of the stretches also help to create space in the spine to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve and so will help to ease the pain and tightness. Not only this but the stretches can also loosen muscles in the hips that might be causing the pain in the first place and even enhance your flexibility quotient as well. All you need to do is to switch to the healthier way of living, and the difference will be easily visible for sure.
The ill hypes of the modern contemporary world have forced the current generation to get inclined towards the unhealthy culture that will stealthily decrease their tendency to live, grow, and prosper. Back pain and leg pain are one of the familiar issues of the modern world for which youngsters, as well as the geriatric population, keep complaining of. The causes of back pain in the elderly population is justifiable due to their decreased bone mineral density, but in the younger population, diseases are most likely to occur due to the inclination towards an unhealthy lifestyle.