Actually, the largest nerve in our body is the sciatic nerve or ischiadic nerve. The beginning of this nerve is in the lower part of the back. It continues down the back of each leg. It is composed of nerve roots which start from the spine in the lower back.
Sciatica is a symptom of a medical condition. It is not a disease. The symptoms of sciatica are:
• Pain in the back and in the back of the leg (usually just in one leg)
• The pain increases while sitting
• Burning feeling down the leg
• Numbness in the leg
• Inability to move the leg
• Inability to stand or walk for a long period
Causes of sciatica:
• Ruptured disc – also called slipped disc or pinched nerve.
Degenerative disc – there is motion at the spinal level which exposes the proteins in the disc. They irritate the area around them.
• Isthmic spondylolisthesis – there is a small fracture in the bone that connects the joints that are located on the back side of the spine. This cause one of the vertebral bodies to slip on the vertebral body below it.
• Lumbar spinal stenosis – there is a narrowing of the spinal canal.
• Piriformis syndrome – one of the nerve roots is being pinched by the piriformis muscle.
• Sacroiliac joint dysfunction:
this problem is caused by the irritation of the sacroiliac joint.
• Pregnancy – during pregnancy the center of gravity changes, the weight of the woman is significantly increased and the hormonal levels are changed. These pregnancy changes can often cause sciatica.
• Scar tissue – one of the nerve roots is compressed by a scar tissue.
• Muscle strain – the nerve root is pressured by the inflammation of a muscle strain.
• Spinal tumor – the nerve root can also be affected by a tumor.
• Bed rest is good for sciatica.
Physical therapy, medication against pain and inflammation, relaxation of the muscles and massages are excellent treatments against sciatica pain. Exercises that promote stretching are also recommended for sciatica. In worst cases, sciatica cannot be cured with alternative therapy, medications and exercises. A surgery is unfortunately required to relieve the compression of the nerve.