Do you fear that you are living with sciatica, or are experiencing pain that might be associated with sciatica? Do you even know what sciatica is? You would be surprised at how many times the term sciatica is used incorrectly to describe symptoms that actually have nothing to do with sciatica. That being said, there are tons of misconceptions and myths surrounding the widespread condition known as sciatica. Before you can start seeking out treatment for your pain you need to know if you are dealing with sciatica or some other associated condition. Below, you will learn more information about sciatica and what you can do to relieve your pain symptoms.
Understanding what Sciatica is
Back pain and leg pain can come in a variety of different forms and symptoms. You can start experiencing pain right after an injury, or it can show up slowly over time. Whatever the situation is, you need to understand it in order to know how to treat it. Sciatica usually develops with a herniated disk in the lower back region of the spine. This usually occurs when the disks that separate your spine shift out of place or wear down as you age. Once the disk begins to herniate, it puts pressure on the nerves that surround the spine, this is where the pain comes from.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, it runs all the way from your lower back to your feet. It should be noted that the nerve even splits and runs through each hip, butt cheek, leg, and foot.
What can Cause Sciatica?
Sciatica can show up in the body for a variety of different reasons. For instance, the age factor can play a major role in the development of sciatica. Most individuals that develop sciatica are between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Overweight individuals are also at a greater risk of developing the condition due to all the extra weight placed on the nerves. Lots of heavy lifting and bending can cause an early onset of sciatica, as well. Lastly, diabetes and other disorders that eat away at the nerves can cause the condition to flare up.
The Symptoms of Sciatica
Now, that you know exactly what sciatica is and some of the risk factors, it is important for you to understand the symptoms. This will help you determine if you are dealing with sciatica or some other condition. Sciatica usually affects the lower back or one side of the body. The pain most often radiates from the lower back all the way down to the feet. Some of the other most common symptoms that you might see are:
- Consistent pain in the lower back region, either side of the butt cheeks, and in either the left or right leg. When it comes to sciatica the condition very rarely shows up in both sides of the body. However, it has been known to occur.
- If you are experiencing pain in the lower back, legs, or butt region, when you are standing or sitting, but feel better while lying down or walking, there is a very good chance that you are dealing with sciatica.
- The pain usually shows up in the form of a sharp or searing condition, rather than being a dull pain.
- If you experience a numbness, weakness, or prickling sensation in the above-mentioned areas, it is entirely possible that you are dealing with sciatica.
- Severe or shooting pain from the back down to the legs can be a good indication that you have sciatica.
Keep in mind that when you are dealing with sciatica, the pain often intensifies with sudden movements like sneezing, coughing, or when you quickly change body positions.
Exploring Sciatica Pain Relief Treatments
Experiencing ongoing flare-ups and severe sciatica pain is never fun and it can in fact lead to more pain over time. This is why it is imperative to begin treatment immediately, if you suspect that you might be dealing with sciatica. Throughout your quest, you will find that there are a variety of different treatment options available. While, all of them might not be for you, there surely is one that will relieve your symptoms. While there are surgical treatments available that can completely cure this condition. You might find that common exercise and other nonsurgical options can go a long way in treating the pain.
1. Treating with Heat/Ice Packs
Heat and ice packs are available from most shops and they can go a long way, when it comes to treating pain. This is especially true when the condition first shows up. Simply just apply an ice or heat pack to the inflamed area for no more than 20 minutes and you should notice an instance relief of pain. This can be repeated every 2 hours if the pain returns.
2. See an Acupuncture Specialist
Over the years many individuals have even found it extremely helpful to seek out other forms of pain relief like acupuncture. This involves the use of hair thin needles and the philosophy of energy flow throughout the body. It should be noted that the FDA has actually approved acupuncture as a certified and proven treatment of sciatica.
3. Try Massage Therapy
It is even possible that certain types of massages performed by licensed and trained individuals can go a long way for sciatica pain relief. Along with this, massage therapy can increase blood flow, muscle relaxation, and release endorphins. Whatever treatment you are seeking out, make sure that you are speaking with a trained professional. And, always keep your options open and make sure that you are not doing anything that will worsen the condition.
If your symptoms persist after trying a natural remedy, consult your healthcare professional.
Know of any other natural remedies for sciatica pain relief? Share them in the comments section below!
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