Sciatica is associated with the Sciatic nerve which runs through the lower back and reaches the feet via the back of the legs. This problem is quite common among people between the age of 20 to 60 and the age group of 45 to 64 is often considered the most susceptible.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and the largest nerve of our body. It originates from the lower spine, branches in the pelvis and travels through the buttocks and down the legs in to the branches of the lower leg and feet. The pain of sciatica occurs when the nerve gets damaged in some way or when undue pressure is put on this nerve.
Sciatica is very painful and the most common cause is disc pro-lapse which is also known as disc herniation or slipped disc. This happens when the soft gel filled disc that lies between the vertebrae of the spine ruptures resulting in compression of the sciatic nerve.
The symptoms for sciatica can be anything from feeling a mild ache to a sharp burning sensation or extreme discomfort. Some even feel numbness, weakness or tingling sensation in the legs. The pain can worsen due to prolong periods of sitting in the same posture, coughing, twisting or bending down.
Common Symptoms Of Sciatica:
- Pain in any one of the legs at a time.
- Pain in the coccyx or lower back after sitting for more than half an hour.
- Tingling sensation in the legs.
- Lack of strength in legs making it difficult to walk.
The pressure on the nerve can be caused by tumor as well. Chiropractic care is of great help in correcting the spinal alignments that might be causing sciatic nerve problems. Over the counter drugs such as NSAIDs can sometimes work wonders in reducing the pain but in order to find a permanent solution, strengthening the muscles of the body is important.
There are certain exercises designed specifically for sciatic patients. These exercises improve the strength of lower back muscles and leg muscles. Walking is a very valuable workout too. Stretching, jogging and aerobics are highly regarded as well. Performing these activities regularly along with chiropractic care can give relief from sciatic pain and also arrest its relapse.
Surgery is often chosen if all else fails. Again the type of surgery you might be suggested depends on the type of sciatica you are suffering from. Some of the possibilities are:
- Fusion surgery: If your vertebra has slipped out of its place then it might be required to fuse it back into place by placing a bone graft using metal rods.
- Laminectomy: It is used to treat spinal stenosis which removes or trims the arch of the vertebra and relieves the pressure put on the nerves.
- Discectomy: The part of the herniated disc that is pressing on the nerve is removed (this is the most common type suggested).
Some people feel that their lives have come to a halt after developing sciatic pain but with the right treatment you will definitely get relief from this problem. Just visit an experienced doctor or chiropractor and your problem will be solved.