causes of sciatic pain - Sciatica: cause and diagnosis
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Sciatica: cause and diagnosis

The nervous system of our body mostly depends on the musculoskeletal system. If any kind of displacement occurs in the joints, bones and spines, the nerves, which lie underneath, are compressed. As a result, we suffer immense pain. Moreover, due to this displacement, the vital organs of our body are affected causing disorder. However, one of the most common types of spinal displacements is slipped disc. Actually, slipped disc is caused due to the breaking down of the various circles of connective tissues that bulge out towards the spinal cord. Slipped disc can lead to different kinds of disorders in your body. However, the most common disorder is the compression of the vital nerves, which pass underneath the discs. Sciatica is a symptom, which is caused due to the compression of the nerve roots that give rise to the sciatic nerve. It may as well cause due to the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve itself. The compression is caused mainly due to the slipped disc.


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 causes of sciatic pain
Sciatica has become a common problem for the people, who are above 50 years. It is because, after 50 years, the spinal cords become very weak and even a minor injury or strain can lead to slipped disc. Apart from that, slipped disc is mainly caused to physical labor, accident or any kind of exhaustion. There are different kinds of diagnosis, which can help in the treatment of sciatica or slipped disc. However, the foremost thing is to undergo an x-ray examination. After examining the x-ray, the physician will ask you to resort to certain exercises, like walking on toes, exercising the spine, bending forward and backward, lying on your back, raising leg.

Commonly the major cause can be pinned as disc herniation in the lumbar spine which presses directly on the sciatic nerve and any triggers by such a reaction for example by irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone which in turn produces the symptoms of sciatica. Besides a compressed or a pinched nerve, other causes could also be tumors, muscle, internal bleeding, infections, injury etc. thus sciatica is not really a disease by itself but rather many other dependants make it into a medical condition worthy of attention

Sciatic pain usually starts in the buttocks and extends down the rear of the thigh and lower leg to the sole of the foot and along the outer side of the lower leg to the top of the foot. Pain may also be present in the lower back.

Causes The sciatic nerve is commonly injured by fractures of the pelvis, gunshot wounds, or other trauma to the buttocks or thigh. Prolonged sitting or lying with pressure on the buttocks may also injure it. Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, can typically damage many different nerves, including the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve may also be harmed by pressure from masses such as a tumor or abscess, or by bleeding in the pelvis.

Symptoms can vary from extreme pain in the low back radiating into one buttock and down the leg. Pain often increases on exertion or bending forward. Alternatively, there may only be a mild sensation in the leg or buttock. There may be numbness in the area, weakness in the leg and diminution of the reflexes. Pain may be triggered by coughing or straining and can be so severe that the lower back becomes locked in sideways bending position (scoliosis) caused by a strong contraction.

Reasons for sciatic nerve pain There are various causes that lead to sciatic nerve pain, but the major reasons that can lead to this type of pain are: 1. Excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve: Sciatic nerve pain can be a result of unwanted pressure put on the body due to improper posture, strain in the muscles, pregnancy, overweight, using a very soft mattress for sleeping purpose. It can also have excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve due to slip disc. Some cases of sciatic nerve pain have been recorded by due to the compression of the sciatic nerve by a tumor encircling the spinal cord in the lower back. 2. Degenerative arthritis: It is also a common cause of sciatica. Degenerative arthritis also known as Osteoarthritis can be identified by certain specific characteristics like creation of bone spurs or a set of protruding bone which presses on the nerve roots. Older people sometimes may develop a medical condition called spinal stenosis, where the nerve is compressed due to narrowing of space in and around the spinal cord.

Many people in the world experience sciatica in the form of lower back pain, or pain in the lower parts of the leg and the foot. Sometimes, the pain is too severe and it is accompanied by muscular weakness, difficulty in moving the legs and numbness. Moreover, the sciatica symptom is felt only in one side of the body. Some people do not understand the meaning of sciatica and they tend to take it as a form of diagnosis. The sciatica is caused due to the compression of the lumbar nerves or the sciatic nerves, which is caused due to the herniation of the spinal disc. The spinal discs are composed of rings of cartilage that are spongy. The discs separate the vertebra, which allows room for the roots to protrude through the vertebra and whenever you move, the roots of the nerves are compressed by the spines, causing intolerable pain. Sciatica can also be caused by tumors impinging on the spinal cord.

Pain is the most common symptom from sciatica. Often only affecting one side of the lower body, Sciatica pain extends from the lower back, through the lower back of the thigh and down through the leg. This pain may also extend to the foot or toes depending on the location of where the sciatic nerve is being affected. Most people will describe this as a deep severe pain that is worsened with certain movements. From a mild ache to a sharp burning sensation, causing extreme discomfort, sciatica pain is never the same for any one person. The pain can be so intense and uncomfortable that at times it may feel like a jolt or an electric shock. Often starting gradually, sciatica pain intensifies over time. Most often only one lower extremity is affected. Sciatica pain can be severe and debilitating for some people, while for others the pain caused by the sciatica can be irritating but infrequent. With sciatica there is always potential for it to get worse. It is best to seek a professional diagnostic and follow recommended therapy for any form of sciatica, however mild it may be. In addition to pain, if you suffer from sciatica you may also experience: Muscle weakness or numbness: This will be felt along the nerve pathway in your leg or foot. You may have painful sciatica symptoms in one part of your leg, and numbness in another area making it difficult to move the leg or foot. Tingling or pins and needles feeling: This feeling is usually felt in part of your foot or in your toes. Loss of bladder or bowel control: Associated with Cauda Equina syndrome, this is a sign of this rare and serious condition that requires immediate emergency care. If you experience either of these symptoms, it is imperative that you seek emergency medical attention immediately. A few other symptoms that require no explanation are Pain in the rear or leg that worsens when you are sitting A constant pain on one side of the buttock Shooting pain making if difficult to stand up Sciatica symptoms can often be made worse with prolonged sitting or standing positions. Described by some people, the worst pain feeling like trying to stand from a low sitting position, such as standing up after sitting on a toilet seat for a duration. A hard bowel movement, coughing, sneezing, laughing or a sudden jerking motion will most often make the pain worse in most people. Often when stretching people will bend backwards to try and loosen up some muscles, this is another way some people aggravate their sciatica symptoms. I usually do not repeat myself but I am going to for this purpose. If you have progressive lower extremity weakness and or loss of bladder or bowel control, it is imperative that you seek professional medical attention for your sciatica symptoms immediately. Sciatica conditions can worsen with time. Self diagnosing is never recommended and seeking professional medical attention is always a better alternative. A well trained professional can help you bring your sciatica symptoms under control and help you live with a higher quality of life.

 
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The most important thing in this regard is taking absolute rest. Apart from these exercises, sciatica can also be cured through different kinds of therapy. One of the most common therapies is chiropractic treatment. Through this treatment, the chiropractor manipulates the different spinal cords and through the external pressure, normalizes the slipped disc. There are different diagnoses, which have been introduced these days for treating slipped disc. However, the most important thing regarding slipped disc or sciatica is prevention. If you are careful about your movement and if you exercise regularly, you can keep yourself away from these physical disorders.

Sciatica refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This condition is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain. The term "sciatica" indicates that the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the buttocks and into the leg, is thought to be the cause of the pain in this condition. True sciatica is a condition that occurs when a herniated lumbar disc compresses one of the contributing roots of the sciatic nerve. This type of low back pain is less common than other causes and conditions that produce back pain.

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Symptoms The most common symptom of sciatica mimics the pain of a severe leg cramp. Depending on where damage to the nerve occurs, pain may be accompanied by numbness or tingling, a burning sensation or general weakness in the leg.

Sciatica's symptoms and complications The most important symptom of sciatica is that a pain in that runs down from the buttocks and unto the back of the leg and thighs. It not necessary that the pain stops there it may even continue down to the foot or can below the knee. The pain that one feels due sciatica has a variation nature: it can be sharp or dull, burning or shooting sensation, non-stop or may come in intervals. One of its properties is that the pain is felt on only one part of the body. Some complain about a acute or intense pain others complain about numbness or weakening in parts of the leg where it hurts the most. This can sometimes lead to serious neurological problems.

It is the nerve that starts at the buttocks and runs down the back of the leg. It is a combination of multiple spinal nerves and is about an inch long in the buttocks. Generally, when people start complaining about pain in the sciatic nerve, it's not the sciatic nerve that created this pain, instead, it's a problem of the nerve being pinched when it leaves the spine.

Sciatica refers to pain along the path of the sciatica nerve. It is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Fortunately, most cases of sciatica are not serious and usually resolve within six weeks. The sciatic nerve branches off nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord - it's two branches run from the lower back through the each side of the pelvis, buttocks, back of leg to the foot.

Treatment and prevention This can be cured by treating the cause that lead to sciatica such as slip disc. Doctor's can prescribe painkillers, muscles relaxants, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. Average amount of exercise should be considered if pain becomes minimal. Therapy sessions are advised to strengthen abdominal and back muscles once the symptoms have minimized.

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Anna R. Guidry

 
 
     
 
 





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