Sciatica Back Pain – What causes it and how can it be relieved?

by Doctor


Sciatica back pain can be an excruciating ailment for those that are afflicted.   It can affect different people in different ways. The pain is almost always felt down the lower back, which extends through the hip and down one side of the leg, sometimes finishing at the knee, but in some cases continuing down to the foot.

The pain can range from a mild tingling to a dull throb to being totally overwhelming, rendering the victim incapacitated.  Sitting can cause the pain to worsen and at times there is no position that can relieve the pain.  Shooting or stabbing pain up the legs can make standing up extremely uncomfortable.  Some people have even complained of a burning sensation down the leg.  Weakness or numbness can make the legs difficult to move.

Sciatica back pain can be relentless, so what causes this extremely painful condition and how can you get relief?

The Sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the human body, and is the thickness a finger. It runs down the spinal cord through the hips and down each leg. It has roots that branch out though the lower back from the spine.

Sciatica back pain can be felt when the nerve or nerve roots becomes compressed for some reason. Some of these reasons can be due to trauma from injury, pregnancy, tumors on the spine, herniated discs, spinal Stenosis, bony growths and more.  The main nerve becomes inflamed and swells resulting in pain anywhere from your lower back through your hips and down one leg.  Usually you will experience pain in all these areas at one time or another.

Some people will suffer from Sciatica back pain regularly where others may have an isolated occurrence.  Pain can sometimes and often lasts for days, and can range from irritating through to unbearable. Spines that are out of alignment can cause Sciatica back pain and pain in other areas too.

It will be necessary to visit your Doctor to diagnose Sciatica. You will most likely need to be physically examined and demonstrate your ability in certain movements so your Doctor can ascertain if in fact you are suffering from Sciatica.  X-rays are not usually necessary due to the fact that they won’t show nerve damage or herniated discs. However they can show up other conditions such as bone spurs, narrowed disk spaces and other possible causes. Persistent pain may require further tests.

You can use ice initially to help in the treatment for Sciatica back pain and other pain associated with Sciatica apart from pain killers.  This will help reduce inflammation in the first 48 hours ñ hold the ice to the affected area for 5 – 10 minute periods.

Stretching the Piriformis muscle located in the hip can help alleviate pain associated with Sciatica. Moving slowly will help ease the pain too.  Sitting or lying in a position for too long will cause your muscles to tighten and increase the pain.  For sleep it may be necessary to take some form of pain relief prescribed by your Doctor.

Sciatica back pain can be an awfully harrowing experience.   If the pain persists you will need to visit with your doctor for medical advice.

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