What is Sciatica? causes, diagnosis and treatment

Sciatica is a neurological health condition that causes weakness and spasm within the lower back which can travel down the back of the legs towards your feet.

Where does the sciatic nerve originate?

The Sciatic Nerve is the largest nerve in the body which originates from Lumbar vertebrae L4/L5 and sacral vertebrae S1-S3. Branches of the sciatic nerve supply the hamstrings with it's individual nerve ending's allowing contractions to occur and continues to follow into the calves and feet through the Common Fibular Nerve and Tibial Nerve. It is a known fact that pain travels downwards, meaning your current problem with your foot could actually be caused by your sciatic nerve being trapped or compressed.

Sciatica, the causes, symptoms and treatments

causes of sciatica

There are a number of causes to sciatica, most commonly it is due to irritation of the root(s) of the lumbar and sacral region. Additionally there are a range of other causes which could be resulting in the sciatic pain you are experiencing, these are;

  • Obesity - As obesity is increasing, the number of complaints relating to sciatica is also on the rise, this is due to the amount of pressure which is being placed on the vertebrae which is causing irritation.
  • Lack of exercise - Exercise is hugely important to reducing the risk of sciatic pain, effectively working the lower back and muscles supplied by the sciatic nerve can greatly reduce your pain.
  • Pregnancy - Changes in posture while pregnant can cause many problems for the lumbar spine, leading to sciatica.
  • Spinal Stenosis - Spinal Stenosis is caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal, causing pinching, tightness and weakness.
  • Muscle Spasm - Muscle's can spasm due reasons such as; overworking and trauma. Commonly the glutes and piriformis cause sciatic related pain.

Symptoms of sciatica

Neurological conditions like sciatica have a typical list of symptoms, these are;

  • Lower Back Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Pain in the glutes or posterior leg when sitting.
  • Burning or tingling sensation
  • Weakness and numbness in the leg

Treating sciatica

While sciatica is not usually considered to be a long lasting condition, it is certainly one you'd wish to treat as soon as possible. 

  • Surgery - In extreme cases surgery may be required to resolve the problem within your spine.
  • Exercise - Exercise is a great way to treat the symptoms of pain you experience while suffering with sciatica, we find it vitally important to make use of a fitness professional who can guide you.
  • Massage - Massage to reduce muscle spasm and any tightness which acute sciatica causes is one of the most simple and effective treatments.
  • Visit your GP - Visiting your GP is always beneficial as they will likely recommend various treatments and be able to advice painkillers or NSAIDS that may help your symptoms.

Level Wellness

Thank you for reading our information surrounding sciatica and the related issues that this neurological condition can cause you, we look forward to creating much more interesting information for you to read and utilise.