If you are a sedentary worker experiencing back pain or lower body pain, especially in the legs in the form of numbness, tingling and you have a problem walking or flexing your muscles, consult a doctor immediately. The cause of this could be a condition known as sciatica.

Sciatica is a set of conditions that are caused when the sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve with the diameter as that of a finger in the body is pressurized or an irritation occurs in the radicular nerve that exits the lower spine it causes pain in the lower body especially the lower back, the back of thighs and legs and the hip region. Thus this condition is also known as radiculopathy. Sciatica is not always very serious and generally resolves in 4-6 weeks but in some cases it may require surgery, especially when caused due to infections or tumors and in such situations it is best to have the opinion of a medical practitioner promptly.

Sciatica Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of sciatica are pain in the lower extremities of the body especially starting at the base of the spine and routing downwards along the path of the sciatic nerve or nerve root to the pelvic region, buttocks, thighs, back of the legs and foot. This pain may be a slight nuisance pain that can be a tingling pain or even a burning sensation and numbness that can vary in intensity and also be constant or intermittent developing gradually, making it hard to detect always.

Sciatica usually occurs only on one side of the body.

Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica pain is generally seen in people who need to spend long amounts of time sitting or standing and bad posture and lack of muscle movement causes the muscles to constrict or be irritated causing pain. It can even be bought on by hard sneezes, coughing fits and lifting something, these activities may cause pressure on the spine and thus it may irritate the radicular nerve by extending beyond its normal position.

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. Even something as simple as muscle strain may cause the muscle to freeze up or be "pulled" and gradually develop into this problem.

Spinal stenosis is the constriction or narrowing of the spaces in the spine that causes the spine or the nerves to be compressed in a way that it causes pain especially in the lower back.

In advanced spinal osteoarthritis, a bit of cartilage may break away and become mobile in the spinal area and become a reason of irritation and inflammation which when occurring in the lower back region may develop into sciatica by putting undue pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is also called in degenerative disc disease.

If a vertebra slips over the other, which is commonly called as slipped disc or Spondylolisthesis the skewed vertebra could pressurize the sciatic nerve.

There are still other issues which can trigger sciatica pain like Piriformis syndrome, sacroiliac joint dysfunction etc which are not really sciatica but these diseases may also set off sciatica because of their symptoms.

Sciatica Treatment

In cases which are very extreme sciatica can be serious enough for being operated upon. Thus, it becomes very important to diagnose the real cause for sciatica in order to rule out the possibility of another serious heath problem which could require immediate attention and/or surgery.

Find powerful herbal remedies Home Remedies for Sciatica

Sciatica treatment should only be carried out by a trained health professional. Besides anti-inflammatory medication and analgesics, exercise is also prescribed under the care of a physiotherapist. As the type of exercise depends on the cause of sciatic pain they must be done after consultation and practiced on a regular basis, twice a day to provide complete relief from pain. Though bed rest may seem like the better option but inactivity results in the muscles degenerating further and exercising them makes them more mobile by boosting circulation and helps to adequately carry the fluids and nutrients across the system.

Minding the body posture and avoiding soft surfaces that encourage slouching must be a part of treatment. Being in the same position for long or lifting things puts strains on the spinal chord as well as the muscles in the hips and legs thus that must also be avoided.

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