Sciatic Nerve

The Sciatic Nerve is the longest nerve in the body, extending from the lumbar portion of the spinal cord (in the lower back) down to the legs. It is responsible for relaying sensations and movement impulses between the foot/leg/hip and the brain. Pain resulting from the irritation of the sciatic nerve, usually felt at the back of the thigh, is known as sciatica. The term Sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness originated in the low back and travels through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. And the leg pain is usually much worse than the back pain.

Sciatica is often characterized by symptoms such as pain on one side of the buttock or in one leg that is worse when sitting, burning or tingling down the leg, weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot, a constant pain on one side of the rear, or a sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk. The patient’s pain and specific sciatica symptoms can usually be traced to where the injured/irritated nerve originates in the lower back.

Sciatica occurs most frequently in people between 30 and 50 years of age. Often a particular event or injury does not cause sciatica, but rather the general wear and tears on the structure of the lower spine over time tend to develop Sciatica. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated spinal disc, directly pressing on the nerve. Other conditions, such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or piriformis syndrome can also cause sciatica symptoms by irritating or inflaming the nerve.

Treatment is initially aimed at reducing the irritation or inflammation associated with sciatica. Therefore rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and muscle relaxers are mostly recommended. Once the pain subsides, exercise and physical therapy is helpful. However, if the conditions do not improve after three months surgery could be advised.

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