Thursday, August 11, 2022

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain

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Common Sciatica Cause #6: Piriformis Syndrome

Top 3 Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain: How to Tell What is Causing It.

Piriformis syndrome is named for the piriformis muscle and the pain caused when the muscle irritates the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is in the lower part of the spine, connects to the thighbone, and assists in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle.;;

The piriformis is a hip muscle that can compress the sciatic nerve when it becomes inflamed.

Piriformis syndrome can cause sciatica when the muscle spasms or becomes inflamed. Inflammation can cause the muscle swell and compress the sciatic nerve whereas the muscle spasms may impact people whose sciatic nerve runs through the muscle itself; this is because the sciatic nerve gets squeezed as the muscle contracts.

It is worth noting that piriformis syndrome may be difficult to diagnose and treat due to the lack of X-ray or MRI findings. Dr. Subach notes: Having an experienced neurosurgeon or orthopedist perform your physical exam will make all the difference in the world, given the normal X-rays and normal MRI scans that typically accompany this cause of sciatic nerve irritation.

Nerves Have A Mystique

Nerves make people nervous! So to speak. The whole idea of nerves gets people anxious. Could it be a nerve? people ask. Is this a nerve problem? What if its a nerve? Is something pinching my nerve? Something must be pinching a nerve.

The kind of advertisement with the stinging ants you see above greatly aggravates our societys general anxiety about nerves. Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies spend about a gazillion dollars on marketing that can create more worry about nerve pain in a year than I can counteract in an entire lifetime of low-budget public education! Bummer.

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Ice alleviate pain by reducing inflammation or swelling that compresses the sciatic nerve. On the other hand, heat packs can be useful in relaxing the tight muscles on the lower back. If you are not sure when to use cold packs or hot compress, read this article on Ice and Heat therapy for lower back pain.

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Chiropractic Or Physical Therapy

Your doctor might refer you to a chiropractor or physical therapist for physical rehabilitation.

With a physical therapist, you learn techniques and exercises to strengthen your back and core, improve your posture, and how to avoid aggravating your sciatic nerve. Your physical therapist makes a home exercise routine for you to follow to reduce symptoms.

Chiropractors have an excellent understanding of the bodys musculoskeletal system and how to manipulate it to ease any pain. They complete different treatments to take the pressure off your sciatic nerve, including massage, hot and cold therapy, and spinal adjustments.

Treating Sciatica Pain And Managing Expectations

Sciatic Nerve Pain Photograph by Sebastian Kaulitzki ...

Many people think that the worse the pain, the more likely something bad is going on. However, this isnt true for sciatica. The body can reabsorb the disc material that is causing symptoms, even for those with severe pain. So, treatment focuses on controlling pain and keeping people as active as possible. If the pain is excruciating, lying down for short periods can help, but prolonged bed rest does not. So, once the pain diminishes, I tell patients to get up and start walking short distances. Since sitting increases pressure on the discs in the lower back, I recommend avoiding prolonged sitting or driving. Many people try treatments like physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic manipulation, but evidence suggests that while these approaches may help typical low back pain, they are less helpful for sciatica. Over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen can help. When they dont, I may recommend short-term use of stronger, prescription pain medicines.

Patients often ask about spinal injections where steroid medicine is injected into the affected area. It is worth considering for those with uncontrolled pain or for those with persistent, bothersome symptoms who want to avoid surgery. Injections can provide short-term relief. Like any procedure, it has uncommon risks including more pain, and it doesnt seem to decrease the need for future surgery.

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With A Towel Or Pillow Under Your Lower Back

Putting a towel or thin pillow under your lower back can help keep your spine in a neutral position by reducing the gap between your back and mattress.

How to set up:

  • Lie face-up with a comfortable pillow behind your head.
  • Slide a thin pillow or towel under your lower back so that you can comfortably keep your pelvis in a neutral position.
  • You can also combine this technique with a pillow under your knees if you find it more comfortable.
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    Immediate Action Required: Go To A&e Or Call 999 If You:

    • have sciatica on both sides
    • have weakness or numbness in both legs that’s severe or getting worse
    • have numbness around or under your genitals, or around your bottom
    • find it hard to start peeing, cannot pee or cannot control when you pee and this is not normal for you
    • do not notice when you need to poo or cannot control when you poo and this is not normal for you

    These could be symptoms of a serious back problem that needs to be treated in hospital as soon as possible.

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    Bottom Line: The Best Pain Relief For Sciatica Is Sciatica Sos

    All of the things we just mentioned will help, and can make for a remarkable difference in the quality of your life as if pertains to sciatica. In fact, you may even be able to neutralize the pain brought on by sciatica if 1) you are in a mild stage of sciatica and 2) you practice all of the recommended things in the correct way. However, for most people this wont be enough. Completely defeating sciatica is not impossible and can be done with the use of Glen Johnsons material. Surgery is expensive, and pain medication can do nothing for you in the longterm. In order to truly stop the pain brought on by sciatica, one must attack the problem at its root and take back pain head-on. This is the same with boils.

    Symptoms Of Sciatic Nerve Pain

    Sciatic Nerve Pain Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo
    • Pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness along the path of the sciatic nervefrom the lower back to the hips and buttocks, and along the back of the leg.
    • Pain ranges from mild and achy, to sharp and burning, to severe.
    • Symptoms usually occur only on one side of the body.
    • Symptoms may also occur in the toes or part of the foot.
    • Certain activities can worsen the symptoms, such as walking, sitting for a long time, bending at the waist, sneezing, or coughing.
    • Severe sciatic nerve pain can lead to difficulty walking.

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    What Are Other Treatment Options For Sciatica

    Other treatment options for sciatica depend on its cause and include addressing the underlying cause and physical therapy.

    • Transcutaneous nerve stimulators are sometimes useful for more chronic forms of sciatica.
    • A variety of low back conditioning and stretching exercises are employed to help people recover from sciatica.
    • Medications used in the treatment of sciatica include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, and antidepressants.
    • Antidepressants actually can help in this setting by reducing pain perception in the brain.
    • Other medications that may be helpful include gabapentin and duloxetine .

    Cortisone medications, given orally or by local injection , can sometimes be helpful in relieving sciatica pain.

    Surgical procedures can sometimes be required for persisting sciatica that is caused by nerve compression at the lower spine. Sometimes pain management specialists help with chronic sciatica conditions.

    Was This Problem In Sciatic Nerve

    Symptoms of pain in sciatica are usually felt along the pathway of the large sciatic nerve. Including:

    Pain: Pain in sciatica is usually a constant discomfort or pain that begins in the lower back or buttocks and develops along the front or back of the thigh and leg and/or legs.

    Numbness: Pain in sciatica may also be accompanied by numbness in the back of the foot. Sometimes, tingling and extreme weakness are also felt.

    Pain in one leg: Sciatica usually affects one leg as well. Often there is a feeling of heaviness in one leg. Rarely, both feet may be affected simultaneously.

    Other causes of pain: There are also some people who have more sciatica pain while sitting, feeling pain in standing, bending on the support of the spine, lying down, or pain while coughing, all these are its symptoms.

    Symptoms of sciatica are different types of symptoms. If you are experiencing pain that travels from your lower back to your legs, then it is a sciatica pain.

    Sciatica can damage or injure your nerve, so other symptoms of nerve damage are usually present along with the pain. Other symptoms may include the following You may have pain Other symptoms include:

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    Can Sciatica Be Cured

    People with Sciatica always ask, Can sciatica be cured? The answer is, typically, with the appropriate treatment method, you may be able to consider sciatica pain an afterthought. Sciatica pain is a treatable condition, no matter how challenging it may seem.

    Physicians can help you determine the cause of sciatica, and from there, you may be able to look into various forms of treatment programs. Most people respond well to natural treatment methods, depending on the probable cause of sciatic nerve compression and are symptom-free after a few treatment sessions. So, instead of living with sciatica pain, give some treatments a try.

    Herniated Disc And Sciatica

    What is sciatica and how to deal with common causes of leg ...

    A herniated disc may then impinge or compress a nerve, which can cause pain around the area of the affected disc. Research suggests that nerve impingement due to slipped disc is the most common reason for sciatica.

    So, what are the most common signs and symptoms of sciatica? And what are the most common sciatica risk factors?

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    Is The Weight Of Pregnancy The Reason Why So Many Pregnant Women Get Sciatica

    Its true that sciatica is common in pregnancy but increased weight is not the main reason why pregnant women get sciatica. A better explanation is that certain hormones of pregnancy cause a loosening of their ligaments. Ligaments hold the vertebrae together, protect the disks and keep the spine stable. Loosened ligaments can cause the spine to become unstable and might cause disks to slip, which leads to nerves being pinched and the development of sciatica. The babys weight and position can also add pressure to the nerve.

    The good news is there are ways to ease sciatic pain during pregnancy, and the pain goes away after birth. Physical therapy and massage therapy, warm showers, heat, medications and other measures can help. If you are pregnant, be sure to follow good posture techniques during pregnancy to also ease your pain.

    Common Sciatica Cause #3: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

    Spinal nerve roots branch outward from the spinal cord through passageways made of bone and ligaments called neural foramina. Nerve roots pass through these openings, join with each other to become nerves, and extend out to the rest of your body.

    Lumbar spinal stenosis is a common cause of sciatica

    When spinal stenosis develops, these foramina become narrow or clogged, and the nerves get compressed. The decrease in space within the canal is typically the result of disc herniation, but can also be caused by other issues such as:

    • Injuries to the spine, such as vertebral fractures or dislocations from trauma
    • The development of bone spursan overgrowth of boneor spinal tumors

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    Nerve Root Wiggle Room

    Its amazingly difficult to actually pinch most nerves, or nerve roots . In general, nerves have extremely generous wiggle room. For instance, in the lumbar spine, the holes between the vertebrae that the nerve roots pass through can be more than a couple centimetres at their widest, while the nerve roots themselves are only about 3-4mm thick.12 If you stretch or compress the spine, the holes do change size a little as much as 70130% in the looser neck joints,13 a little less in the low back.14 But even at their smallest, theres still plenty of room.

    Schematic of nerve root wiggle room

    On the left are the approximate proportions of a healthy nerve root & the hole it passes through . When the spine is pulled or compressed, the holes get a little larger or smaller, as shown on the right but theres still lots of nerve root;room.

    Theres so much space for nerve roots that even dislocations routinely fail to cause impingement.15 Once again, I invoke the example of a patient with a severe lumbar dislocation and no symptoms at all, not even symptoms of pinched nerve roots. Her nerves seemed to be fine, even in an anatomical situation most people would assume to be extremely dangerous.

    How Did You Get Sciatica

    Sciatic Nerve Pain? What REALLY is sciatica?

    The sciatic nerve route starts in your lower back and ends in each leg, and sciatica symptoms may range from slight discomfort to severe agony that spreads through the nerve. The following symptoms may include numbness, tingling, or muscular weakness, which often begins in the lower back and progresses into the leg or foot. Its particularly uncomfortable when one coughs or sneezes. People with sciatica often only have symptoms on one side of their body. Although severe sciatica pain may occur, in most cases, discomfort from sciatica may be alleviated with a combination of physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, and strength and flexibility improvements.

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    Secret #4: Home Remedies

    Before MRIs and over-the-counter pain relievers, people relied on a variety of home remedies for sciatica pain. While these wont fix the problem causing the pain, they can provide temporary relief. Some of the more successful home remedies include:

    • Alternating hot and cold compresses to the lower back
    • Massaging a mixture of ginger essential oil to equal part of coconut or olive oil into the lower back.
    • Drink two or three cups of valerian or chamomile tea to stop muscle spasms.
    • Soaking in a bath with apple cider vinegar and Epsom salts.
    • Rub a cream containing at least 0.025% capsaicin on the affected area.
    • Try a tincture called Harshiangar, which contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds. This remedy comes to us from Ayurvedic medicine and can be found in many Indian specialty stores.

    Herbal, natural anti-inflammatories are also recommended home remedies for sciatica pain. You can find more information on these in secret #7.

    Sciatica Symptoms Or Something Else

    Sciatica isnt the only reason for pain in the legs, ofcourse. Other conditions can mimic sciatica:

    • Vascular disease: Narrowing of the bloodvessels in the legs can cause pain and cramps and might make it hard to walk.
    • Peripheral neuropathy: Small nerves inthe legs can become damaged, causing burning, pain, tingling or numbness in thefoot or lower leg. This type of nerve damage is often related to diabetes,alcohol use disorder or other medical conditions.
    • Peroneal neuropathy: An injury to the peroneal nerve below the knee can cause weakness and make it hard to lift the foot.

    How can you tell if youre dealing with sciatica orsomething else? Sciatica tends to affect the length of the leg, not just thefoot. And most often, that pain radiates downward from top to bottom, Dr.Thomas says.

    Another clue: Sciatica usually strikes just one side. If you have pain in both legs, it is less likely a disc herniation, but more likely due to degenerative changes like spinal stenosis, he says.

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    What Are Some Less Common Causes Of Sciatica

    Some lesser-known causes of sciatica can include:

    • Endometriosis, a growing of uterine tissue outside of the uterus that can accumulate in areas that surround the sciatic nerve or the sciatic nerve itself
    • Infection in the spine or spinal column that causes an abscess to form and press on the sciatic nerve or damage to the nerve itself
    • Nerve damage from diabetes
    • Shifting or growing of a fetus during pregnancy that can result in nerve compression
    • Side effects from medications

    Another common source of traumatic injury is direct damage to the peroneal nerve, says Dr. Subach. This often results from a knee dislocation or lower leg fracture and may present as numbness in the back of the calf or weakness in the ankle when pointing the toes toward the shin. Infrequently, it may occur in a post-operative knee or hip replacement patient. Ruling out a spinal cause in such cases is imperative.

    The Universal Guide To Sciatica: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts

    Osteopath for Sciatica A Guide To Causes and Treatments

    In This Article:What Is Sciatica?;;|;;What Is The Sciatic Nerve?;;|;;What Are Common Sciatica Symptoms?;;|;;What Causes Sciatica?;;|;;How Is Sciatica Diagnosed?;;|;;What Are Some Nonsurgical Sciatica Treatments?;;|;;Do You Need Sciatica Surgery?;;|;;What Type of Sciatica Surgery Do You Need ?;;|;;

    The sharp, shooting nerve pain of sciatica can take your breath away. When low back pain radiates through the buttocks and down the leg, the symptoms are known as sciatica. Although sciatica is commonaffecting up to 40% of adultsthere are many misconceptions about what sciatica is.

    Leg pain that descends below the knee is the classic hallmark of sciatica, a type of lumbar radiculopathy. Photo Source: 123RF.com.

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    The Course Of Sciatica

    Often, a particular event or injury does not cause sciaticarather it tends to develop over time. Sciatica affects 10% to 40% of the population, typically around the age of 40 years.1 Sciatica is found to be common in certain types of occupation where physically strenuous positions are used, such as machine operators or truck drivers. Specifically, people who often bend their spine forward or sideways or raise their arms frequently above the shoulder level may be at risk of sciatica.1,5

    The vast majority of people who experience sciatica typically get better within 4 to 6 weeks with nonsurgical sciatica treatments.1 If severe neurological deficits are present, recovery may take longer. An estimated 33% of people, however, may have persistent symptoms up to 1 year.6 When severe nerve compression is present with progressive symptoms, surgery may be indicated.

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