What You Must Know About Sciatica Sciatica refers to pain or numbness experienced along your sciatic nerve. The pain radiates from the lower back all the way down to your thigh. It usually runs from one side of your back down to the thigh and calf. Your Sciatic nerve runs from your spinal cord through the hips and buttocks down to your legs and feet. It is the longest nerve in the body. As a type of back pain, Sciatica can also be a symptom of other back conditions like Herniated Disc (tearing/wearing of the disc) of the lower back region. It comes with a burning or tingling sensation. Sciatic pain results from inflammation or compression of the back muscles. It can be acute lasting between 4 – 12 weeks or chronic lasting for more than 12 weeks. Symptoms and Causes Well known symptoms of Sciatica include: • Radiated pain from your lower back through the buttock down the thigh and calf of the leg. • Pain can come with electrifying, tingling or shocking sensation • The muscles along your sciatic nerve can also experience numbness or a “no-feeling” sensation as if they are dead. • This back condition has also been associated with other forms of conditions like loss of control over bladder or bowel functionality. I recommend that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Causes are: • Herniated disc is the most common cause • Degeneration of the disc (Spondylolisthesis) affects the sciatic nerves • The narrowing of the spaces in the spinal column which lead to compression of the spinal nerve causes Sciatica. This condition is called Spinal Stenosis • Injury resulting from car crash can also lead to this back condition • Tumor on the sciatic nerve or tumor on the back region can result to a jolting effect that leads to this back condition Treatment • Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin and Tylenol can be taken to reduce inflammation. Please avoid self medication as much as possible. Steroid injection has also given remarkable improvement to the nerve condition of the sciatic • Good massage therapy can go a long way to arrest sciatic pain • Acupuncture can be employed to gain improvement • Your doctor may suggest surgery if all other forms of treatments fail • Start now to undertake you back exercises to prevent this back condition Prevention • Observing proper posture is important. • You may also avoid sedentary lifestyle and limited movement • Please don’t forget your back pain exercises. Seek recommendation from your physician for a more directed approach that works.