Are you having pain? Is it sharp, shooting, burning, stinging? Does it travel down the leg or arm? Can you touch the area and it hurts? How you are experiencing pain may give clues to what is happening to the nerves. Think of nerves as insulated cables that carry information from the body to the brain and back down. Irritation or damage to these nerve fibers (‘cables’) alter the signal going to the brain. Your brain makes the final decision whether for you to experience pain or not. If the brain does not like the signal it may send a ‘pain signal’ to let you know something is wrong and you better fix it.
There are three basic types of nerve pain we commonly see in our office. We want to return to the analogy of insulated cables so you can gain a better understanding on nerves. Think of the wire as the nerve and the insulation as the fascia that surrounds the nerve. Just like the wires in your home, television, and other appliances some currents travel faster if the wire is insulated or not. Signals from your body may travel fast or slow. This is what happens when you step on a tack and feel a sharp sensation, only to have a duller ache moments later – different nerve fibers send different signals at varied speeds.
Sciatica pain can be one of the most uncomfortable and disruptive injuries. The pain is often sharp and can become chronic and unrelenting leaving one overwhelmed on what to do next. It is a literal pain in the a$% (and often down the leg) than can put a stop to enjoying life. The good news is that we are going to tackle this very common injury. We will look at why one may be confronted by this injury and, better still, what one can do to get back to a normal, pain-free life…we know this means a lot to you.
First off, let’s chat a little about what sciatica really is. It is obvious the name sciatica refers to a problem with the sciatic nerve, but what does that mean? The sciatic nerve is a long, thick nerve that forms when the lumbar (4/5) and sacral nerve roots exit the spine then converge and continue through the pelvis down the leg where it splits above the knee. An issue with this nerve may occur anywhere along its path. Think about the nerve as a real thick wire where electricity should flow freely, but If something cuts off the current it can result in pain. This happens when the nerve is compressed or if inflammation irritates it.
I'm just a guy helping active adults and athletes frustrated by nagging aches and pains naturally return to a healthy lifestyle.