Sciatica Relief

Sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain, possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that can originate in the lower back and travel through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica can also be caused by an entrapment syndrome where are the sciatic nerve gets pinched or sandwiched between muscles or within tunnels to which the nerves pass through.

Sciatica Nerve Pain

Sciatica is often characterized by one or a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg.
  • Pain that is worse when sitting.
  • Pain worse in certain sleeping positions.
  • Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling or searing.
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot.
  • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk.

Common Causes of Sciatica


Sciatica symptoms occur when the large sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed in the lumbar spine or along the course of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is composed of individual nerve roots that start by branching out from the spine in the lower back and combine to form the “sciatic nerve.”

  • The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back at the level of the third lumbar vertebra (L3).
  • Nerves exit the spine at each level below the spine, and then come together to form the large sciatic nerve.
  • The sciatic nerve starts at the lower back, through the the pelvic, buttock, and down the back of each leg.
  • Portions of the sciatic nerve controls function in the legs, thighs, calves, feet, and toes.

The specific sciatica symptoms – the leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and possibly symptoms that radiate into the foot – largely depend on where the nerve is pinched. For example, the nerve exiting the vertebra of L5-S1 if impinged can cause weakness in extension of the big toe and potentially in the ankle.

  • Sitting on a wallet can pinch the sciatica nerve
  • Disc bulges and herniations are common causes of sciatica
  • Piriformis syndrome is where the sciatic nerve gets pinched in the buttock region, not in the lower back.
  • Spinal Stenosis is when the spinal cord and/or the nerve roots do not have enough room to pass through.
  • Spondylolisthesis a condition when a vertebra slips over another vertebra causing a nerve pinch.
  • Scoliosis mostly seen in adults resulting from degenerative changes arising out of excessive spinal curvature.
  • Hyperlordosis or kyphosis do to the compressive loading to spinal joints and nerves.

When To Seek Treatment For Sciatica


Call a doctor if any of the following conditions occur:

  • The pain is not improving after several days or seems to be getting worse.
  • Someone has trouble bending forward after more than a few days.
  • The affected individual notices weakness is getting more pronounced over time.
  • The pain follows a violent injury, such as a fall from a ladder or an automobile crash.
  • The affected individual is unable to move or feel his or her legs or feet.
  • The affected individual loses control of his or her bowels or bladder or has numbness in his or her genitals. These may be symptoms of cauda equina syndrome (a serious nervous system condition caused by damage to the nerves at the end of the spinal canal).

Treating Sciatica


The goals of non-surgical sciatica treatments are to decompress the nerve roots that are affected causing pain and other neurological symptoms,

There are options available for sciatica treatment. A combination of the treatments below are usually recommended in conjunction with specific exercises.

  • Initially rest and cold pack applications to the area of sharp pain may ease the condition.
  • Specific exercises based on your physical condition and spine shape.
  • Spinal Decompression traction will help restore joint and disc hydration and spacing.
  • Core stability exercises helps to reintegrate core body movements, and aids the spine to prevent future recurrences.
  • Muscle therapy to help circulation and decreases spasms.
  • Flexion distraction to restores joint mobility and lessens scar or adhesive tissue formation.

Risks Of Untreated Sciatica


Sciatica is commonly a result of spinal degeneration that affects it’s discs, joints, Muscle tendon, and ligaments. Faulty spinal biomechanics and core strength is a common cause that accelerates spinal degenerative changes. Often people get over there first second or third episode of sciatica without ever seeing the doctor. Treating the symptoms of sciatica with over-the-counter medications may help to control pain. However, it does little to handle the true cause of nerve entrapment.

Early treatment of nerve entrapment syndromes that caused sciatica is indicated to restore spinal balance and prevent future sciatica symptoms.