Sciatica, what is it? Sciatica is a type or form of nerve damage. There are several different types of neuropathy and sciatica refers to the pain or weakness felt in the legs as a result of injury or pressure on the sciatic nerve which makes it difficult to move the leg without intense to throbbing pain. Sciatica is not its own separate condition but is classified as a cause or symptoms of some other condition.
What Causes Sciatica?
This painful condition is caused when a person is experiencing damage to the sciatica nerve. The sciatica nerve starts or is located in the lower spine and travels down each leg. The sciatica nerve is responsible for sending sensations and controlling movement in the back of the knee, thigh, lower leg and sole of the foot. When the sciatica nerve is compressed or damaged the individual is unable to maintain normal mobility. Medical professionals have been able to determine a few of the root causes for this painful condition. The following are a few of the known causes of sciatica:
- Slipped disk
- Piriformis syndrome (a pain disorder involving the narrow muscle in the buttocks)
- Pelvic injury or fracture
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine. When a person is dealing with a herniated disk or a spur on the spine the pain is very severe and if left undiagnosed or untreated the patient could become unable to move which could be very frightening.
We have already mentioned that sciatica is only the symptom or result of another deeper condition so in most cases a series of tests will be prescribed. Blood tests, x-rays and MRI’s might show what is causing the compression of the nerves and then a sciatica treatment can be implemented.
If the underlying cause is found and treated then the pain will be lessened, but if the underlying cause is not found then a person can try to apply heat or ice compression to the achy area. In some cases physical therapy might be needed and helpful to keep limbs moving.
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