What is sciatica?
Sciatica or sciatic pain is the name given to any sort of pain caused by irritation, such as pressure or pinching, of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet. When the sciatic nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness a tingling sensations. These sensations are felt down one of your legs to your foot and toes.
What causes sciatica?
There are a number of issues that can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. These include:
- Narrowing of the spinal canal
- Degenerative disc disease
- Slipped discs
- Muscle spasms
There are other factors that may aggravate your pain. These include being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels, or sleeping on a mattress that is too soft. Other conditions that may contribute include piriformis syndrome.
How to treat sciatica
There are some basic home exercises you can carry out everyday that your physiotherapist can demonstrate to you. Like so many other conditions the most effective treatment derives from following a number of steps:
- Pain relief
- Prevention (of recurrence)
Treatment can include a combination of the following: