Sciatic nerve pain refers to the pain which result from the irritation of sciatic nerve. It affects the lower extremities near the branches of sciatic nerve. The pain usually starts from low back area down to the buttocks and knees. Â Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve found in the body. It is located in the nerve roots of in the lumbar area of the spinal cord and extends to the butt area, hips up to the nerve endings just below the leg.
Sciatic nerve pain is not really a disorder, but it is a symptom of another illness which may be affecting the nerves in the body. Though it is not a disorder, it radiates inconvenience and pain to patients.
What are Sciatic Nerve Pain Causes?
A patient of sciatic nerve pain often wonders what are the actions or movements that resulted to pain in their lumbar area. Though prolonged sitting in front of the computer is one cause patients normally blame, there are more underlying reasons behind sciatic nerve pain. Here are some causes of sciatic nerve pain.
- Disk herniated – Disks are pads in the cartilage area. It is filled with a gel substance that makes the spine movable and flexible and normally acts as shock absorber to protect your bones when you move. If the disk becomes irritated, worn out or herniated, the gel substance may leak out and affect the nerve endings. Disk herniated may result to numbness and tingling sensation from the buttocks down to the foot.
- Spinal Tumor â€“ Tumor in the spinal cord can also be another cause of sciatic nerve pain. The tumor inside the membranes that protect the spinal cord may result to compression of the cord and the nerve roots thus giving pain symptoms in the sciatic nerve area.
- Tumor in sciatic nerve area â€“ Presence of tumor in the sciatic nerve area may result to pain to sciatic nerve.
- Severe Injury – Severe injury like car accident or serious fall can give pain to lower back and the nerve roots.
- Pregnancy– Pregnancy may also result to irritation of the nerve roots particularly in the last trimester of pregnancy. This may due to weight gain and hormonal changes.
What are the Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Pain?
The most common symptoms of Sciatic nerve pain may include:
- Pain in the lumbar area
- Sharp pain which starts in the buttock down the lower leg
- Pain only on one side of the leg or buttock, it is very rare that both sides are affected by sciatic nerve pain.
- Numbness when one uses the foot or the leg.
- Unusual feeling that of pin and needle sensation in one side
- Pain in the leg may subside while walking but worsen when you sitting down for hours.
- Some patients feel weakness due to pain but if severe weakness is present and if bladder function is affected, see a doctor immediately as it may result to severe irritation of the nerve roots.
What are the Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatments?
Sciatic nerve pain treatment is effective with various self-care measures and lifestyle modification. Without taking care of yourself or lifestyle changes, sciatic nerve pain may have repeat episodes that will likely to be worse as you age. Here are some sciatic nerve pain treatments, which you may try at home.
1. Cold pack
Cold packs may decrease the swelling and give some relieve to any discomfort. You may wrap the cold pack in a towel and put it in the affected area for 15 â€“ 20 minutes for a couple of times each day.
2. Heat pack
3. Stretching exercise
4. Milk and garlic
Combination of garlic and milk is effective in reducing the symptoms of sciatic nerve pain. Garlic work as antioxidant and it stimulates good blood circulation thus helping the body to relax during episodes of sciatic pain.
Chiropractic techniques used to relieve spasm and stiffness of the affected area. It also aims to align spinal cord and improve the underlying causes of your sciatic nerve pain. Licensed and trusted chiropractors should only do this.
8. Celery Juice
These are some effective treatments for sciatic nerve pain. These may help in relieving the sciatic nerve pain. However, if your lower back pain continues or the numbness of your legs worsens, it is advised that you consult your doctor, to rule out other serious health problems.