What is Sciatica?

What is sciatica and what causes it?

What is SciaticaSciatica is a condition in which the patients suffers from pain in the lower half of their body due to an irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain associated with sciatica is normally felt from the area of the back that is associated with the lumbar region and continues to travel down the backside of the thigh area and all the way below the knee area. This pain that is felt due to the sciatic nerve being irritated is sometimes referred to by others as being sciatic nerve pain.

Sciatic nerve pain is normally the result of a herniation of the lumbar disc and this herniation of the lumbar discs causes the disc to place pressure directly upon the sciatic nerve. The pressure that is placed upon the nerve in turns is what causes the sciatic nerve pain that in the end can result in sciatica. This irritation of the nerves is sometimes referred to by physicians as a pinched nerve. Other causes of the pain associated with the sciatic nerve include tumors, infections, injuries, and pregnancy.

The majority of individuals that are affected with problems of the sciatic nerve respond well to home treatments such as sciatic nerve exercises, stretching, and the alternation of cold and warm compresses. If those methods fail to provide relief there are other treatments. One treatment that can be considered for those individuals is to undergo physical therapy treatments. The use of physical therapy helps to rehabilitate by strengthening the muscles that support your lower back and by increasing your flexibility.

Another treatment for the condition is the use of prescription medications. Many physicians will provide you with a prescription that aids in relaxing the muscles and then another prescription for a medicine that will help take the inflammation away from the inflamed area. Other medicines that may be prescribed include antidepressants and anti-convulsants. These medications work by enabling the body to help block pain messages and by helping your body increase the production of endorphins which help the body deal with pain naturally.

Yet another method that those who prefer natural treatments that is now being employed is the utilization of sciatic nerve exercises. Sciatic nerve exercises should only be performed after a consultation with your physician. Examples of such exercises include the reclining big toe pose, the seated twist, the downward-facing dog, and the bridge pose. Sciatic nerve exercises can provide great relief for some, without the use of medications and for many are the best treatment option.

Pain of an irritated sciatic nerve can be terrible and if you think that you are suffering from symptoms related to the nerve you should seek the care of a physician. Only a physician can advise you on whether or not you are suffering from a condition of the sciatic nerve and give you the best advice of what treatments would be best for your unique situation. After your treatment options have been explained to you then you can make the final decision of what you think is the best treatment for your health.