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.
Let’s consider that the sciatic nerve is compressed or is irritated by inflammation. What might happen? What might you feel?
Aside from an actual trauma to the sciatic nerve, an injury to the nerve tends to happen over time. The most common cause of sciatica is due to a problem in the lumbar spine. Common causes are due to a herniated/bulging disc, spinal stenosis, or inflammation due to tissue irritation at the spinal level. Nerve tension can become a problem along the nerve pathway and trauma/injury to the lower leg, thigh and buttock can be a reason for pain along the nerve path. Piriformis syndrome and issues at the sacroiliac joint can cause sciatica-like symptoms.
There may be more severe causes including cauda equina syndrome, tumor, or infection. If you have any of the symptoms below it’s best to report to a physician immediately.
Now if you have not had a fall, accident, or injury from lifting a heavy object, it is often the repeated actions in everyday activities that cause the most harm: daily heavy lifting at one’s job, frequent twisting/turning, improper position when standing, sitting or lying down, and postural habits that result in improper weight distribution like always carrying a purse or groceries on the same side.
Sciatica can happen at any time. That’s why it is important to make sure you keep a strong back and body as you age. But what if you all ready have sciatic pain and it’s difficult to start strengthening your back. The good news is that a physical therapist can help you. First, the physical therapist can figure out the CAUSE of your pain. This means, if you are suffering from a herniated or bulging disc, spinal stenosis, or something altogether different, a physical therapist will find out. Unlike methods which only attempt to mask the pain with medication or injections, a physical therapist will find the cause and help to eradicate the pain completely and safely. With an exercise program tailor-made for you alongside world class treatment, physical therapy is set up to get you back to a pain-free life at home. It really is the most safe and effective way to abolish your pain.
Life is too short to be burdened by sciatic-pain. Nerve pain cannot be eradicated by pain killers or injections. Physical therapy is a safe and effective way to get rid of your pain permanently.
So if you are unsure if you are really experiencing sciatica or even if you just want to make sure you can keep your body strong, flexible, and moving efficiently enough to prevent the potential for future injury, then we would love for you to contact us. To find out how we can help, and what is the next step in your journey toward a pain-free life, simply click the link below. We cannot wait to hear from you. We look forward to meeting you!
I'm just a guy helping active adults and athletes frustrated by nagging aches and pains naturally return to a healthy lifestyle.