What is sciatic nerve pain?
Sciatica is a type of pain that affects the sciatic nerve which is a large nerve that extends from the lower back down the back of each leg and down to the toes.
Sciatic nerve pain is caused by the irritation of the lower lumbar and the lumbosacral spine. Some other causes include lumbar spinal stenosis in which the spinal canal found in the inferior back is becoming narrow. Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one vertebra slips forward over the other vertebra while degenerative disc disease is the breaking down of disc which serve as a cushion in between the vertebrae. Both conditions can cause sciatic nerve pain as well as pregnancy.
Symptoms of sciatica
· The legs or foot are weak and numb and there difficulty in moving them.
· A severe pain in the leg especially when sitting
· A burning or prickly sensation on the affected the leg
Usually, sciatica only affects one side of the lower body and the pain will extend to the lower back down through the back of the thigh and down to the leg. It can also extend to the foot and toes.
Pain caused by sciatica can be very severe and debilitating and can be irritating and just passing by and there is possibility that it can worsen.
Weakness of the lower extremities, numbness of the upper thighs, and if there is loss of bowel or bladder control require medical attention.
Treatment and home remedies of sciatic nerve pain
· Over-the-counter pain relievers can provide relief from sciatic nerve pain.
· Cold packs such as a bag of frozen peas that is wrapped in clean cloth and applying it to the affected area for 20 minutes for several times a day.
· After two to three days, apply heat compress on the affected area to increase the circulation and minimize the inflammation. If you want to learn how to manage similar conditions, click here.
· Do some stretching exercises that will relieve the person of the tight muscle in the lower back
· Change the sleeping position of the person in relieving the stress that is caused in the lower back and increase the amount of stretch received. The person should lie in a curled fetal position and place a pillow between the legs. This position can also reduce the stress on the lower back and keep the hips aligned properly.
Prevention of sciatic nerve pain
· Develop good posture such as when sitting. The feet should be flat against the floor, elbows bent and the arms should be resting on the arms of the chair and avoiding overreaching using the back or legs.
· Avoid sitting for long periods of time. The individual should get up and walk around.
· Do the treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bicycle exercises at least 3 times a week to strengthen the back.
· Wear clothes and shoes that fit properly.
· Avoid lifting of heavy objects or equipment.