Sciatica. If you’ve ever suffered from it, you know exactly what and where it is. For those who haven’t, sciatica is pain that originates at the sciatic nerve and it causes pain that radiates along the path of that nerve. That nerve runs from the lower back, through the hip, buttocks and down the leg. When you have problems with it they are typically on one side or the other, but not both. It can be debilitating and make everyday tasks difficult.
There are a lot of reasons why sciatica happens
The most common is when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. It causes inflammation and likely some numbness in the affected leg. It also causes a lot of pain. The pain travels from your lumbar spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg and it can vary from an ache to a sharp pain, burning sensation or in some cases severe pain.
Pregnant women may have it during pregnancy
The one time that it is usually transient is for pregnant women. Late in pregnancy the growing baby presses and lays on the nerve, causing sciatica. Mild cases can go away on its own, but if it lasts longer than a week or gets worse, seek medical care.
Risk factors for Sciatica
Other than pregnant women, other risk factors for Sciatica are age, obesity, diabetes, prolonged sitting or occupational risks. As people age, disks get injured or wear out, bone spurs can evolve and cause issues. Obesity has the same effect as pregnancy, except the weight, not a baby, cause the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Diabetes causes nerve damage. Occupations that require you to twist, carry heavy loads or sit for long periods of time are definitely a problem.
If you are having problems with your sciatic nerve, ask a doctor. There is help to be had. Don’t suffer, seek help.
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