Sciatica is the term describing a pain loss of sensitivity, weakness radiating along the sciatic nerve, between the lower back and the leg passing through the buttock.
Watch the video to understand what’s happening when part of a herniated disc compresses the spinal nerve root.
The term sciatica refers to pain in one of the lower limbs that lasts from a few days to several weeks, depending on its cause and what is done (or not) to treat it.
This pain is caused by irritation/inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Pain from sciatica is usually felt from the lower back (area of the lumbar vertebrae) to behind the thigh and can radiate down below the knee.
The pain of sciatica can also cause pain in the calf and even pain in the foot.
Video: what is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body and originates in the nerve roots of the lumbar spinal cord (lower back) and extends into the buttocks, with nerve endings extending into the lower limb.
The Good News
A sciatica episode usually goes away on its own after a few weeks. The length of a sciatica episode depends on the cause and whether or not it has been treated appropriately.
Symptoms of sciatica
- Pain in the leg, felt like a burn. Difficulty walking because of this pain. Pain in the leg aggravated while sitting and relieved by the supine position. Numbness (loss of sensitivity, paresthesia) or tingling from the lower back and radiates into the buttocks and the upper back of the thigh at the back of the leg. Lumbar pain, pain in the buttock, pain in the hip. This pain may be diffuse or more focused on only one of these parts of the body. Difficulty / inability to stand on tiptoe or walk on heels.
- Difficulty walking because of this pain.
- Pain in the leg aggravated while sitting and relieved by the supine position.
- Numbness (loss of sensitivity, paresthesia) or tingling from the lower back and radiates into the buttocks and the upper back of the thigh at the back of the leg.
- Lumbar pain, pain in the buttock, pain in the hip. This pain may be diffuse or more focused on only one of these parts of the body.
- List ItemDifficulty/inability to stand on tiptoe or walk on heels.
A person with a herniated disc condition may have pain in the lower back AND in the leg, or, depending on activity and position, only in the leg or only the lower back.
Driving while sitting too close to the steering wheel (and thus with the legs tightly folded) increases the pain of sciatica while moving back the seat and stretching the leg relieves this pain.
As a general rule, it is advisable to change positions as often as possible to relieve pain as much as possible.
Sciatica is itself a symptom, a sign that something is wrong in the lower back.
Sciatica can also have another cause, unrelated to disc dysfunction and characterized by similar pains and known as the syndrome of the piriformis syndrome.
What causes sciatica?
In most cases, sciatica is the result of a lumbar disc herniation that presses and compresses the sciatic nerve, causing inflammation and irritation that is responsible for the pain.
The following pathologies can also lead to sciatica:
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Muscle inflammation
- Internal bleeding
- Narrow lumbar canal
- Infection in and around the lumbar spine
The term radiculopathy is used to describe the irritation of the nerve that occurs following compression of the nerve consecutive to a herniated disc.
In pregnant women, sciatica can occur following the irritation of the sciatic nerve during pregnancy.
What is sciatica & why doest it hurt ?
Sciatica Pinterest board
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How long does a sciatica last?
Sciatica lasts from a few days to a few weeks. In the majority of cases, it will go away by itself, as it has came: the problem that triggered it must be solved: in the case of a herniated disc, for example, the herniated disc must stop putting pressure on the nerve.
Sciatica lasts longer or will not go away if one doesn’t adapt their behavior, so as not to perform the actions or action that trigger it.
If we don’t pay attention to the way we bend down, to the physical efforts we make in everyday life, to the number of hours that we sit on a day, we postpone the healing and the longer the sciatica lasts, the harder it is to go away.
If the situation doesn’t improve after 3 months and / or sciatica is too painful and prevents normal life and activities, surgery may be considered.