Just about any time you hear someone talking about lower back pain, you will hear them mention sciatica. Sciatica is something that is often talked about, but not thoroughly understood.
Basically, sciatica is pain in your lower extremities. This pain stems from an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain is felt at first in the lower back. However, depending on how the nerve is pinched, that pain can radiate down your leg. You will feel it in your thigh, you will feel it behind your leg and you will feel it all the way down to your ankle.
The reason why sciatic pain is so overwhelming is because your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It goes from your lower back and extends through your buttocks and goes all the way down your leg.
Most people describe sciatic pain as a sharp, radiating pain. It is a pain that stems from lumbar disc herniation pressing on the nerve. Many people describe dealing with this condition like having electricity running down their leg or having their leg attacked by a bunch of fire ants.
While a herniated disc is the number one cause of sciatica, it can also stem from the nerve being pinched by a broken bone, by tumors, by pinched muscles or even by irritation during pregnancy.
In addition to causing pain, sciatica causes a burning sensation. It causes your legs to feel numb or tingly. In extreme cases, it can affect the strength in your foot, leading to what some people refer to as a dead or drooping foot.
Sciatica can make it difficult for you to walk, sleep, sit, bend down, use the toilet or even sneeze. At times, the only way to relieve your pain is to temporarily change positions.
Sciatic pain can have an emotional impact on sufferers. This is because the pain is so intense and so relentless that a person starts to feel desperate. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory pills, pain medication and certain types of steroids can minimize the pain. But in other circumstances, these cures do not work. What makes the situation more aggravating is that as sciatica progresses, an individual is going to experience a weakening in their leg, a reduction in the size of their calf and will have difficulties walking.
Thankfully, for a lot of individuals, sciatica is temporary. Once the condition that is causing it dissipates, once the inflammation is gone and once the pressure is off the nerve, the pain disappears. Unfortunately, for other people, sciatica is a recurring condition.
If you are one of these people, make an appointment at Innovative Spine to learn about your treatment options. Don’t live with your symptoms any longer. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in San Antonio.