There are a variety of causes for pain, and uncovering the cause of it can help you obtain relief from your pain so you can stop suffering.
Have you ever experienced a pain that travels down the back of your leg through the buttocks? Did it feel numb or almost tingling? Was sitting and sleeping uncomfortable as a result? If this sounds like you, then the cause of your pain could be sciatica.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica pain runs down from the back through the buttocks down the leg. This type of pain is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in your body.
What are symptoms of sciatic nerve pain?
The number one symptom of sciatica is pain that varies in severity. For some, they are able to function with sciatica, while others become near paralyzed as a result of the pain. Along with pain, patients may experience numbness or tingling that travels through the leg to the foot. This pain can worsen during certain activities and can be debilitating.
Causes of sciatica
Medical director at Healthspan, Dr. Sarah Brewer, explained, “One of the usual causes of sciatica is a ‘slipped’ intervertebral disc, which presses on the root of the sciatic nerve where it joins the spinal cord.”
A slipped disc can be caused as a result of a weak vertebrae that bulges outward.
Sciatica can also be caused by medical conditions including arthritis, spinal tumors, and blood clots. Other causes include posture changes and pregnancy. Muscular tightness can pinch or irritate nerves causing sciatica.
Sciatica symptoms may go away on their own, but if not, then book an appointment with your doctor. Treatment may involve painkillers, rest, or surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. Your doctor may also recommend physiotherapy, which combines stretches and other exercises to help relieve symptoms.
In some cases, ice and hot packs can help relieve pain in its early stages. Yoga and Pilates are also beneficial to help stretch muscles and keep joints strong and your body limber. If your sciatica is a result of a disc injury, though, then this type of exercise should be avoided as it can worsen it.
Related: Sciatic Nerve Pain: Prevention, Stretches, and Exercises for Pain Relief