Sciatica: What You Should Know

Sciatica is a condition of the sciatic nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and it runs from the lower (lumbar region) spine down through the buttocks and the lower leg. When a person feels pain or discomfort in their sciatic nerve it can radiate from the lower back all the way to their toes.

Have you ever been walking and it seems like your leg just gives out? That is a problem with your sciatic nerve. It is a strange phenomenon that happens a lot when a woman is in the later months of pregnancy and the baby is getting very big.

This condition has a number of causes. The most common cause is a problem with the vertebral column. A disc herniation can occur at the level of the spine where the sciatic nerve originates. The disc then presses on the nerve and traps it. The nerve becomes irritated and inflamed causing all kinds of symptoms. The sciatic nerve can also become inflamed because of other conditions: tumor, bleeding, infections or injury - to name a few.

When the sciatic nerve is caught, you experience symptoms. The main symptom is pain. The pain can run through your entire leg. You might feel it everywhere or just in your lower back, the buttocks, or in your thigh. Some people complain of numbness, tingling or burning in these areas as well.

Just like with a pregnant mother, too much pressure on the sciatic nerve impairs your ability to walk. If you have this condition, you shouldn’t walk carrying heavy objects or a small child, as there’s a danger of your leg giving way and you could fall. Sitting down can be painful for a person suffering from sciatica. Lying straight seems to bring the only relief.

Most don’t go to the doctor at first. Pain in the leg could have a number of causes. But, when the pain persists in the same area it’s time to see someone. Be sure to tell the doctor everything you have been experiencing so that they can diagnose you correctly. The doctor will also examine you and do a medical history. X-rays might be required.

Once the sciatica is diagnosed you have treatment options. Medication will alleviate the pain and inflammation but the misalignment of the spine has to be dealt with so you don’t experience a lifetime of painkillers. This could be a chiropractic intervention or a surgical one if that doesn’t help.

Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. The nerve can become trapped by a bulging disc and cause severe pain in the lower back, buttocks and lower legs.