Sciatica is a common form of pain in the lower back (otherwise known as the lumbar region). Sciatica has actually been a medical term since the medieval times; it was first recorded as being used around 1450.
The back pain called sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve, this can sometimes happen due to a spinal disc herniation, otherwise known as a bulging disc. When a disc bulges it pushes cartilage out of its usual place and this can sometimes catch on a nerve root, including the sciatic nerve.
Sometimes sciatica can be experienced when pregnant, because the uterus can press on the sciatic nerve causing severe pain, once pregnancy is over, and the uterus is back to its normal state, the pain should stop and the patient will be able to live without any further problems.
The affects of sciatica differ from patient to patient but generally the sufferer will feel pain in the back and shooting pains through the buttocks and down one or both legs. The pain isn’t always permanent, some people have the pain intermittently, and it all depends on what is pressing on the sciatic nerve.
Overall Sciatica can be a painful experience and can cause a lot of discomfort, especially when a sufferer is experiencing an episode where they get shooting pains down their legs.
Simple pain relief through anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers such as paracetamol can effectively treat a lot of sciatica patients. Others can feel relief through physical or massage therapy.
Physical therapy is used to identify a persons movement restrictions and work with them to maximize their movement abilities, this can also mean setting them small movement exercises they can carry out at home.
Massage therapy is the massage of problem areas to manage pain, this is not just a relaxing massage, and this is a deep massage applying pressure and tension to really “work” the problem area.
Some people say that the following day after massage therapy they feel like they have been lifting weights all day as the body aches from the deep penetration of muscles and joints.
Some alternative treatments reportedly help sciatica too, like chiropractic manipulation.
A chiropractor works on diagnosing and treating muscular and skeletal problems to improve general health and issues they may have on the nervous system. Manipulation of the spine is one of the main areas of expertise a chiropractor has so someone who is suffering with sciatica may benefit from visiting a chiropractor about their issues. When you visit a chiropractor be aware that it may cause discomfort as the chiropractor may add pressure to areas that are already sensitive.
There has been talk about acupuncture helping people who suffer with back pain but the current belief is that this only acts as a placebo and the problem does not go away.
Sciatica is a treatable condition that may cause discomfort, although it will not stop a sufferer living life to the full.