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Sciatica: Symptoms and Prevention

Introduction:

Hey everyone, we are back again for you. We are going to give you some insight on a topic that is truly relevant to everyone. Weather you work from home or away from, home, at some point in your life you have or know someone who is experiencing some form of back pain or back related pain. For today we will be more specific to sciatica. Without wasting any more time, let us get into it.

 

Sciatica

Have you ever heard someone say, “my sciatica is acting up?” or “I think I have sciatica!!” well, what exactly is sciatica? Sciatica refers to pain going down the leg, caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain usually radiates from the low back (lumbar region) to behind the thigh, and it can even spread below the knee all the way down to the foot. Sometimes the pain can is felt going down the front of the leg. The sciatic nerve, is the body’s largest nerve, begins in the lumbar spine and moves through the buttocks to pass nerve endings down the lower leg. Sciatic nerve pain is a term used to describe radiculopathy.

 

Cause

Sciatica is caused by a herniated disc in your spine, impinging on the nerve root. Some other causes include spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or the late stages of pregnancy.  Sometimes, a tumour might compress the nerve, or it can be injured by a condition like diabetes.

Risk Factors

  • Age- Age related changes to the spine, increase the likelihood of developing sciatica.
  • Obesity- Excess body weight might contribute to the spinal abnormalities that cause sciatica by increasing the tension on your spine.
  • Occupation- Sciatica can be caused by jobs that require you to twist your back, lift heavy items, or drive a vehicle for lengthy periods of time, although there is no clear proof of this relationship.
  • Prolonged periods of sitting- Sciatica is more likely to occur in persons who sit for extended periods of time or have a sedentary lifestyle than in active people.
  • Diabetes-This disease, which alters how your body utilizes blood sugar, raises your risk of nerve damage.

 

Symptoms

  • Low back pain with pain going down your leg
  • Pain going down leg
  • Tingling or burning sensation down the leg
  • Some weakness in the affected leg
  • Numbness in the leg, feeling like your leg or foot fell asleep

Sciatica pain may be severe and debilitating for many people. Sciatica pain may be sporadic and annoying for others, but it has the potential to worsen.

If you have any of the following symptoms, in addition to get medical help immediately once.

  • Back pain and a fever
  • Your back is swollen or inflamed.
  •  Numbness or weakness of upper thighs, pelvis, or bottom
  •  Blood in your urine
  • Serious discomfort
  • Bladder or bowel control problems (leaking or not being able to make it to the toilet in time)

 

Management:

Medication

Your physician may prescribe you medications including:

  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Narcotics
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

 

Physical Therapy

Your physical therapist may put you through a series of tests to see if your back will respond positively to extension or flexion-based exercises that will help release an impinged nerve root. Your physical therapist will also teach you how to do exercises to strengthen your core muscles to support your spine, as well as exercises to enhance your posture and flexibility.

 

Injections of steroid

Your doctor may suggest steroid injections, such as a cortisone shot. They will give you an injection that contains medication to decrease pain by reducing inflammation surrounding the nerve. The effects last for a few months, but they eventually fade away.

 

Sleeping Positions

You may have to play around with this one to see what position feels more comfortable. If you must lie on your stomach, place one or two pillows between your stomach and the bed.

When lying on you back, place one or two pillows under your knees.

 

Exercises-

We have included stretches that may work for your sciatica. As always, consult with your physical therapist to make sure these are right for you.

  • Reclining pigeon pose (Piriformis stretch)
  • Knee to chest stretch
  • Lumbar rotation stretches
  • Hamstring stretches

Tips

  • Increase exercise
  • Strengthen your core
  • Avoid sitting for extended periods
  • Manage your weight
  • Practice good posture
  • Do not get old!!! (Joking)
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