What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that is defined by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This irritation will often create pain that travels down the side or back of the leg, creating leg pain and irritation, and often continues into the ankle and foot creating foot and ankle pain and irritation. In general, anytime a condition is defined by nerve irritation, that means that the nerve is being compressed somewhere by something which creates a cycle of pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing sciatic nerve irritation, these are the primary areas that sciatic nerve irritation will occur:
1) Low back pain: If the sciatic nerve is being irritated in the low back, there are a number of different sources of compression or irritation that are causing the low back pain. From disk issues, to joint issues, to ligament pathology, these presentations generally require a specialist that can diagnose and effectively decide if surgery or some other intervention is required.
2) Hip: The sciatic nerve is often being pressed on in the hip as it passes underneath a muscle called the piriformis. In fact, many people with sciatic pain are diagnosed with piriformis syndrome.
3) Finally, the nerve can be irritated as it passes between the hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh. The hamstrings are a very common area of tension for most people. If the tension here is high enough, sciatic nerve irritation can result in the hip pain and leg pain people feel during sciatic nerve irritation.
What should I do if I have sciatic pain?
There are a number of different reasons a person may experience sciatic pain. These include:
- Disk issues, including inflammation and degeneration
- Weight gain, including pregnancy
- Muscle tension
- Stenosis: A condition which calcifies the central pathway the spinal cord travels through.
- Idiopathic conditions in the spine such as spondylolisthesis and ankylosing spondylitis (If you haven’t heard of these, that’s a good thing).
Should I seek help?
In many cases, engaging in habit changes, good stretches and exercises can resolve sciatic pain. In other cases, even if the person has the right self-care tools, intervention is required to resolve the issue. Whether or not you are the first or the second person in these two cases, we highly recommend seeking help from a professional. The longer the nerve spends in a state of compression and irritation the more challenging the recovery can be. So, come and see us at Body Heal to see if we can help alleviate your sciatic pain because that is what we are here for! Simply book a session or a consultation and we will begin putting you on track for pain relief: www.bodyhealtherapy.com