Pain is something that many people deal with throughout their life at varying rates and varying degrees. While it may not be something we talk about often in an official capacity, understanding what kind of pain you have, where it comes from, and what can be done about it, will help a person to be able to live a profitable life where their quality of life is optimized. So, if you’re looking for information on Sciatica, here is everything you need to know.
What is Sciatica?
In terms of simplicity, Sciatica is pain of the main nerve of your body. The sciatic nerve is the main central nerve that spreads for your lower back to just around your knees. It is the nerve responsible for feeling sensation in the legs, both upper and lower. As you can imagine, Sciatica is the word for when there is a problem with the sciatic nerve. This condition creates shoots of pain throughout the nerve in varying degrees.
What causes Sciatica?
The main cause of Sciatica is patients is due to a slipped disc, which is when a disc in the back moves out of place and interferes with the sciatic nerve. An injury to the spinal column can also cause Sciatica.
Another common causes of Sciatica are a tumour in the back, which can pinch the nerve, and an infection that works its way into your back causing problems with the nerve.
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
Typically, Sciatica is diagnosed with a thorough doctor’s physical examination which will focus on lower back and leg exercises to test how your muscles and nerves react. If there is sharp pain during these exercises, a MRI or similar scan will be ordered to see how the nerve itself is doing. This will diagnose you with either acute or long term Sciatica.
How is Sciatica Treated?
Physiotherapy and pain medication are the typical treatments for Sciatica. If it is chronic and long term, often times cold or hot packs can be used to put on the area. This will help the nerve calm down and keep the pain manageable so that you can live your life normally.
Can Sciatica be Prevented?
Yes, Sciatica can be prevented in many cases by sitting and standing with proper posture and practicing good exercise techniques that will strengthen your legs and lower back. While there are some people who can prevent it with these sorts of lifestyle changes, there are others that will simply have the condition due to genetics or other medical conditions. Living a good lifestyle can always help, though.
Sciatica is can be a debilitating condition, or it can be simply an acute condition that lasts only a few months. The severity of it depends on how seriously the nerve is affected, and the condition that caused Sciatica in the first place. Proper diagnosis and treatment is critical for the patient to live a healthy lifestyle in all cases, so always see a doctor if you feel this describes your symptoms.