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Where is it coming from and how can I get rid of it?
Sciatica symptoms are most commonly pain in the back of the leg, but can include pain in the low back, buttocks, hamstrings and back of lower leg and foot. It can also include numbness, tingling, pins and needles, weakness or a general feeling of tight hamstrings.
Sciatica is not an official diagnosis but rather a collection of symptoms that has many different causes.
Sciatica is typically happens on one side at a time. IF you are experiencing pain in both legs, that is not typical and you should be examined by a medical professional immediately!
Causes of Sciatica
If your doctor gives you a diagnosis of sciatica, it is important to ask him THE CAUSE. The cause will determine proper treatment strategies. Some sciatica treatments will be either ineffective or aggravating if the source of the pain is not determined. Sciatica is caused by compression of the nerve either at its root or along the course of where it travels. This can differ greatly though. Sciatica can be caused by:
– Disc Herniation – the disc in the low back protrudes and pinches against the sciatic nerve as it exits the low back. This will present with characteristic pain patterns that indicates what level of the spine is herniated.
– Piriformis Syndrome – the piriformis is a muscle in the bum, that is similar to the rotator cuff of the shoulder. When this muscle gets tight it can press the sciatic nerve and irritate it.
– Pregnancy – can cause sciatica symptoms. When pregnant, women retain more fluid and this increased volume of tissues can press on the nerve causing pain.
– Pseudosciatica – is buttock and hamstring pain that is not real sciatica pain coming from the nerve. It is referred by irritation of the joints of the low back and pelvis. It is often mistaken for sciatica, but the best way to tell the difference is that Pseudosciatica does NOT GO BELOW THE KNEE.
– Nerve tension – persistent hamstring pain and tightness that is not relieved with regular stretching is usually caused by nerve tightness as it gets caught by scar tissue as it passes between the muscles of the buttock and hamstring.
Sciatic Nerve Treatment
Sciatica symptoms can differ from person to person, so it is important to get it diagnosed acurately by a professional so that you can get effective and immediate treatment. Do not wait for it to go away, the sooner you start treatment the more likely it will get better! In between visits you can try sciatica home treatment.
Some exercises for sciatic nerve pain are generic and can help with any kind of sciatic pain. It is important to start with these exercises first before and during treatment. Your therapist will include myofascial release techniques, stretching, application of ice or heat and electro-therapeutic modalities including electro-acupuncture.
The best sciatic nerve treatment is a collection of therapies including sciatica stretches and sciatica home treatment techniques while being treated by a health professional. Be sure to have a therapist that treats muscular conditions regularly and uses a lot of hands-on techniques.
Sciatica rarely requires surgery as a treatment option.
Sciatic Nerve Anatomy:
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the entire body. It come from the lumbar spine and travels the back of the pelvis (between the buttock muscles). It runs along the back of the leg between the hamstring muscles ( a common site of entrapment that can cause nerve tension), while giving off different branches to innervate muscles and skin of the leg.
At the knee it splits into two major nerves: the tibial nerve and peroneal nerve. Combined these two nerves innervate the muscles and skin of the lower leg and foot.