The sciatic nerve is a large bundle of nerve fibers which exits the spinal canal at the lower back and is responsible for controlling and providing sensory function to the muscles in your buttocks, back of your leg, top of the foot and into the big toe.
Symptoms When the sciatic nerve is pinched, inflamed, or damaged, you may feel pain anywhere along the path of the nerve, however most sufferers complain of pain in the buttock, and the hip as these are the largest of the muscles to spasm. Although it is possible for pain two be felt on both sides of the body it is usually more common on either the right hand or left hand side.
This condition is called Sciatica.
Causes: The most common cause of Sciatica is a herniated disc. This occurs when the disc that act as cushions in the vertebrae are ruptured and push into the spinal canal and put pressure in the sciatic nerve.. Now a herniated disc can be caused by many reasons such as degenerative disc disease, or trauma caused by an accident, sporting injury, however, the most common reason is by lifting and twisting at the same time.
Many people complain that they have ‘just woken up with it’ this usually because the injury can take several days to show its symptoms.
Sciatica can also occur during pregnancy when the sciatic nerve is pinched between the head of the fetus and the pelvic wall. Whatever the reason it is important to make an appointment with your medical advisor who will probably arrange for you to have an MRI scan so the exact cause of your problem can be diagnosed, and the correct course of treatment be administered.
Diagnosis: An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scan is a safe and painless test that can provide detailed pictures of your spine. It also shows the softer parts of the spine too such as ligaments and surrounding tissues, and what is causing the compression to your sciatic nerve. Once the scan is completed, the radiologist will interpret your examination, and send a report to your medical adviser who can then recommend the best course of treatment for you.
Non Surgical Treatments: The initial treatment for sciatic nerve pain will be pain relief which usually comes in the form of over the counter medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen. In fact it is probably likely that you have been taking these from the outset of your pain.
Although these medications do offer considerable pain relief, as they reduce the inflammation of the nerves and muscles, they do come with some side effects if taken over long periods of time.
These side effects include stomach ulcers, and in stronger medications addiction.
A far better option for pain relief would be a totally natural product, that offers a high level of pain relief, with absolutely no side effects whatsoever, such as the excellent Heal’N’Soothe Remedy from The Healthy Back Institute.
This product has helped thousand of sufferers worldwide, and many get almost instant relief after years of suffering. To read more about this amazing product and read some of the testimonials you can visit their website by clicking here
Exercises For Sciatic Nerve Pain
Up to recent years it was always thought that bed rest was the best treatment for sciatica and sciatic nerve pain. However this advice is no longer recommended, in fact the very best advisers recommend you keep active, as best as you possibly can.
You should start an exercise program, of which combines non impact aerobic conditioning, such as a stationery bike, or swimming and combine this with a lower back strength training and stretching program, which strengthen the muscles that support the spine.
Sciatic nerve pain and back pain in general always responds quickly to a lower back pain exercise program. In fact exercises and stretches are becoming the number one choice for the initial and ongoing relief from back pain.
However, it should be noted that not all exercise is good for sciatic nerve pain. In fact it is possible that you could do more harm than good if the incorrect exercises are chosen or the exercises are not performed correctly.
If you are unsure, always consult a professional physical trainer who has knowledge of rehabilitation or back injury, or alternately a physical therapist that is up to date with current back relief techniques.
Another option for sciatic nerve pain relief is a DVD/Video program from Lose The Back Pain. This program takes you through a step by step analysis of what is causing your back pain, or the diagnosis you have been given, and then shows you exactly what exercises you should do to get maximum relief in the shortest time.
You can visit their website and sign up for their free back pain advisory by following the link below, you will then have access to full details of this highly recommended program. http://losethebackpain.com
Surgical Treatments: In the unlikely event that your sciatic nerve pain has not responded to the exercises and stretches, it is possible that your medical adviser will discuss with you the surgical options available – but surgery is only generally recommended in very severe cases of sciatica, and when all else has failed.
It is also important for you to know that success rate of people who are ‘100% cured’ is about 35%.
The long term benefits of surgery for sciatica are no greater than those offered by a regular exercise and strength training program.
The surgical procedures for sciatic nerve pain are a microdiscectomy or lumbar laminectomy and discectomy. All of these processes involve cutting away disc tissue or removing bone portions to make room for the compressed nerve.
In summary the long term management of sciatica and sciatic nerve pain and will involve lifestyle changes, which will include a weekly exercise program to strengthen the core muscles that support your back, and may include long term medication, and in rare instances surgery
Once you have discovered the best treatment option, and what works for you there is no reason that you will not be able to continue your normal lifestyle and keep sciatic nerve pain under control once and for all.