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Sciatica

Sciatica pain can be debilitating for many people, especially because it affects both the lower back and the legs and feet. Often times this condition will make it painful or impossible for you to sit, stand, or walk. If you are experiencing a burning or tingling sensation extending from the base of your spine, through your leg, and possibly into your foot, you may have a case of sciatica. If this pain is affecting your daily life, causing you to miss out on leisure activities or work, the professionals at Advance Health and Wellness may be able to help.  We can try to discover the cause of your pain, and then work with you to come up with a treatment plan that is right for your individual condition.

Many people have probably experienced some degree of sciatica pain and not known what was causing it. There can be temporary cases caused by a fall or strain from sitting or standing too long that will subside on their own over time. These cases are rare, however. People often treat any pain in the lower back and legs with pain medications, and so the cause of the pain is often left undiagnosed. Most cases of sciatic pain will require therapy or treatment past drugs or home remedies.

Sciatica is defined as irritation to the sciatic nerve, which starts on either side of the spine, runs into the pelvic area, down into the buttocks, and then stretches down the backs of the thighs. At the knees it splits in two, going down into the feet. The length and scope of this nerve explains why the painful sensations associated with it being irritated can be felt in so many different parts of the body. This is also why sciatic pain is so frustrating and can be debilitating.

Anyone can experience sciatic pain, though it is more common in older individuals.

Virtually any injury or pressure put on the sciatic nerve can cause a case of sciatica. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Slipped or herniated disks, which can bulge out of place and put pressure on the nerve at the base of the spinal column
  • Pregnancy
  • Degenerated disks, which are usually caused by aging or arthritis
  • Narrowing of the canal in the lumbar region of the spine
  • A bone slipping out of place in the lower back
  • A strain or sprain to the ligaments or muscles in the general area

In some rare cases, more severe causes of your sciatic pain may exist, such as blood clots, tumors, toxins in the blood stream as a result of alcoholism, infections, or tumors.

It is important to seek professional help for cases of sciatica, not only to put an end to the pain and interference of your life, but because uncovering the cause of your condition is key to understanding and treating it. While pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory drugs may offer temporary relief to the symptoms, it is impossible to offer a long term solution to the pain or the condition without knowing what specific causes are unique to you. Problems like sciatica generally do not go away without treatment, even if they become dormant for months or years. Reoccurrence can be likely.