Sciatica is a type of pain that stems from the irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body running from the spinal cord through the buttocks and down each legacy right below the knee. Common symptoms are leg pain tingling and numbness in the leg and feet, and pain throughout the lower back and buttocks. To diagnose a physician will conduct a thorough physical exam of the patient to assess’ tenderness over certain areas of the spine along with monitoring mobility of lower extremities.
As well as doing the neurological examination. There are several treatment options for sciatica. Natural types of therapy like exercise, physical therapy, massage, a balanced nutritious diet, and rest have found the aid in the relief from sciatica. For patients with more severe cases of sciaticainterventional types of treatment can be explored. These include epidural steroid injections as well as potential trigger point injections. Techniques like biofeedback and spinal cord stimulation have also been effective to decrease patient’s symptoms.
Tell us what we’re seeing here and focusing on those areas that you just talked about that we need to discuss.; So what we have over here, here’s the spine looking from the back view so we have the different segments in here and the spine, those are called the bones or the vertebra. So in between the bones, we have certain structures that we call the disk so basically, that entails the lower back, and between some structures, over here we have the nerve,… eventually essentially what sciatica means is that there’s a compression of a nerve in herein your lower back.
Actually, you might be feeling down that in the in inthe buttock or in the leg. So that’s basically what sciatica entails, so it’s normally a problem up here that normally people will feel it down in the leg. So when we’re getting to the leg I mean you’ve looked at the spine right there so what is that pain though that then shoots all the way down at the leg I would guess that that then is attacking the nerves the muscles what are we talking about Basically that would be a nerf essentially this is a little more.
We have abetter close-up of what we were seeing before, so we have the bones and here in between we have the disc and here these jello structures are called nerves normally when there’s a nerve that is being compressed you might feel the symptoms going on the leg it’s basically we’re electricians, so we might have although you may have a problem in your lower back you might feel a jolt of pain going on the leg and depending on which nerve is being affected you might feel it in a specific distribution running on leg either in the side of the leg.
Back of the leg, front alike, it depends and normally those patient and the patient having complains of having numbness and tingling for the most part along with it, sometimes if it’s severe enough they can have a weakness. . Sciatica is – I often think of sciatica more as a syndrome rather than as a pure diagnosis in itself, and I’ll explain why in a second. But sciatica is commonly where the disc itself compresses on the nerve in the lumbar spine and that affects the functioning of the nerve.
In which case you either have pain or changes in sensory or motor ability down the leg. Now the interesting part about sciatica and why it can often be described as a syndrome is, it is not always a disc that causes those changes to the nerve. You can have restrictions and movement, specifically within the foraminal space where the nerve exits the spine. Tethering or adhesions along the pathway or the tract of that nerve can again restrict the ability or affect the ability of the nerve, which again can produce sciatic like symptoms. Compression from soft tissue.
Such as muscles which are tight or sitting in an awkward position, or on your wallet, or a number of other aspects can again compress on that nerve and produce sciatic like symptoms for some people. We can often have what’s referred to as a double compression syndrome which is where two points along that channel that the nerve runs are restricted and the combination of the dual restriction causes sciatic-like symptoms. The last one which is also a possibility is that the nerve itself is irritated or inflamed such as in neuritis which again would cause pain up and down that leg.
Along with the distribution of the nerve, again producing sciatic like symptoms. Common presentations, as we’ve touched on, is a pain in the spine that radiates down the back of the leg. Typically it does only affect one side. If it’s affecting both sides then it does raise the concern level that a therapist would have, and we would be looking to really ascertain what other things are potentially going on. Pain areas. As I say, back, buttocks, hip, and lower extremity.
Numbness, pins, and needles can be present. Often people talk about them within their foot, specifically toes, ball of the foot, again depending specifically on the nerve and the pathways which are being affected. Burning sensations, leg weakness, and limping are also other common findings for this condition. Sciatica is a term that describes symptoms of pain, numbness, and/or weakness that radiate along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the buttocks and leg. The medical term for sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy.
The vast majority of sciatica symptoms result from lower back disorders between the L4 and S1 levels that put pressure on or cause irritation to a lumbar nerve root. Most commonly, sciatica is caused by a disc problem, such as a herniated disc that is pressing against a nerve root. It can also occur when a disc degenerates, which releases inflammatory proteins that irritate the adjacent nerve. There are many additional causes of sciatica. Sciatica symptoms are typically felt on only one side of the body.
They may include a combination of leg and foot pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness. Sciatica pain is often described as searing or sharp, as opposed to achy or throbbing. Depending on where the sciatic nerve roots are compressed, symptoms may be felt in different areas of the leg and into the foot. It is important to remember that sciatica is a symptom of an underlying condition, not a diagnosis in itself.