Sciatica is a leg pain that is caused by a pinched nerve found in the lower back but a sudden sharp pain starts in the nerve roots found on either side of the lower spine and spreads to the sciatic nerve that is found in the leg from the buttock down to the foot. Take note that this leg pain is called radiculopathy that can oftentimes cause severe back pain.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUQJmlcrFzw”]
Sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and functions in connecting the spinal cord to the pelvis and legs. Due to its size and the presence of the spinal column at the bottom that runs through the pelvis, the sciatic nerve can easily be pinched with is a condition called sciatica. Sciatica causes numbness, weakness of the muscle and severe pain that can be felt in the pelvis and legs.
Causes of sciatica
A pinched sciatic nerve can be caused by various conditions such as the following:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis
- Piriformis syndrome
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Symptoms of sciatic nerve pain
- Pain that becomes worse when sitting
- A constant pain that is felt only on one side of the buttock or leg, but sometimes can occur in both legs.
- There is weakness, numbness and difficulty in moving the leg or foot.
- Severe pain that makes it difficult to stand up or to walk
- Leg pain that has tingling, burning and searing sensations
Treatment and home remedies of pinched sciatic nerve
- Apply cold and heat compress to the affected areas or the lower back. Wrap a few pieces of ice cubes using a moist cloth and place it on the affected areas. This helps minimize inflammation that is caused by a pinched nerve and can numb the nerve which can help lessen the pain. Apply the cold compress or ice pack for the first 2-3 days after experiencing the symptoms of a pinched sciatic nerve. After that, warm compress can be applied since it helps loosen the muscles found around the pinched nerve and helps reduce some of the pressure.
- Take plenty of rest since it helps take away the pressure from the nerves.
- When sleeping on the back, elevate the knees using a pillow or use a rolled-up towel in order to tilt the pelvis and minimize the symptoms. Another way is to place a pillow between the legs and sleep in a fetal position since this can also help with the condition.
- Take the prescribed pain medications in order to lessen pain such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Seek the help of a physical therapist in order to strengthen the back. Physical therapy can help correct problems in the structure of the body and posture problems that could cause pressure on the nerves.