The Sciatic nerve is a critical nerve in our body and in fact it is the largest nerve of human’s body. It begins as nerve roots in the lower back and it continues all the way through both legs.
The sciatic nerve is connected to the spine and plays a vital role to the walking function.
Sciatica is a medical condition that causes pain in the lower back up to the back of the legs and it occurs due to the compression of the nerve roots at the end of the spine.
Symptoms of Sciatica
- Back pain and pain the back of the legs. It is most common to have pain in one leg only.
- Sitting increases the pain
- The legs feel a burning sensation
- Loss of sensation in the leg or numbness
- Difficulty in walking for long periods or moving the legs
Causes of Chronic Sciatica Pain
- Ruptured Disc – This is also known as a slipped disc or pinched nerve
- Degenerative disc – The proteins in the disc are exposed by movement in the spine, which causes a lot of irritation in the back
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis – a fracture in the bone connecting joints near the spine. This causes shearing between the vertebral bodies.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis – The spinal canal narrows down.
- Piriformis syndrome – The piriformis muscle pinches the nerve roots
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction – An irritation in the sacroiliac joint.
- Pregnancy – Due to weight increase during pregnancy and also changes in gravity, these is increased stress on the back leading to sciatica.
- Scar tissue – The scar tissue compresses the nerve roots causing pain.
- Muscle strain – The inflammation of a muscle strain pressurizes the nerve root causing pain.
- Spinal tumor – A tumor could be affecting the nerve root.
Treatment for Chronic Sciatica Pain
- Physiotherapy sessions
- Pain relief medicines which causes relaxation of the muscles
- Stretching and exercises
- Bed rest
In some extreme situations patients would have to undergo surgery to gain relief.