Sciatica is the pain on the sciatic nerve due to injury. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body that originates in the gluteal area through the pelvis and right down the leg. It ends just below the knee and then branches into other nerves that continue down the leg, into the foot and toes. The right and left sciatic nerves are made of five nerve roots, including two from the lower back region (lumbar spine) and three from the sacrum.
Sciatica is the pain caused on the lower back and radiates down to the leg, with symptoms including irritation, inflammation, the feeling of pinching and compression of the nerve at the lower back. Other symptoms include muscle weakness at the leg and foot area, numbness in the leg and tingling sensation in the leg, foot and toes. Sciatica pain can be sharp, burning or electric-like, which is constant or one may feel relieved after a while. The person may feel the pain worsen when seated or in a standing posture for longer periods, or due to the sudden movement of the body.
The cause of sciatica is generally associated with –
- Bulging or herniated disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Piriformis syndrome
- Spinal Tumor
- Infection in the spine
- Nerve damage due to diabetes
- Side effects from medications
Tips to reducing sciatica pain
Approximately 80% to 90% of people with sciatic nerve pain get relief from the pain after a few weeks of its occurrence. So best is to wait and see if the pain goes off by itself.
Listed are some simple tips for reducing sciatica pain quickly
Try standing up
As a thump rule, too much rest weakens the muscles. If you feel sciatica pain, try to not sit for a longer time as the pain will worsen. Stand up and stretch your body a little, if you do not feel to do your workouts.
Movement of the body
Go for short walks, stretch, do some simple physical activities or your daily chores if your pain is not severe.
Use hot and cold treatment
Hot and cold treatment is one of the suggestion most of the physician suggests. Switch from cold treatment to hot treatment, alternatively, to relieve the pain by using ice packs and a heating pad for 15-20 minutes. Ensure to not burn your skin while using this treatment method.
Get over the counter medication
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. helps to ease the pain and reduce the inflammation. It is advisable to talk to your physician before purchasing the over the counter medicines.
Get help from a physiotherapist
Physical therapy treatment will help in correction of the poor posture and strengthen the muscles supporting the lower back. Talk to the therapist for the exercise program and techniques that can be done at home.
Sciatica nerve pain in most of the people does not end up in surgery. If the pain persist for more than three or four months, have trouble walking, or if the pain worsens, it is best to get the surgery done.