My dad has been struggling with Sciatic pain for a couple of weeks now, and seeing the destruction this type of pain has had on him prompted me to conduct some research and learn more about this nerve discomfort. I derived the following information from spine health.com.
Sciatica refers to a variety of different pain symptoms, some examples including leg pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the lower back. The sciatic nerve exists in the back of the leg and the term ‘sciatic’ refers to symptoms or pain, but not an actual diagnosis. Some causes of sciatic pain include a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis.
The sciatic nerve is the biggest independent nerve in the human body. It extends from each side of the lower spine down into the buttock(s) and further down into the back of the thigh and also the foot. It connects the spinal cord with leg and foot muscles and is therefore a nerve of tremendous significance regarding mobility and daily function.
A combination of the following symptoms are typically a sign of Sciatic nerve pain:
- Consistent pain in one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both sides)
- Pain that begins in the low back or buttock and radiates down the back of the thigh and into the lower leg/foot
- Pain that is relieved when lying down/walking
- Pain that intensifies when standing or sitting
- Pain feels like a sharp, searing, pain
- A “pins-and-needles” feeling, numbness/weakness/a prickling sensation down the leg occasionally
- Weakness/numbness when moving the leg or foot
- Severe/shooting pain in one leg
There are several different options for treating sciatic nerve pain, some examples being surgery (when all other options have been exhausted), physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, steroid injections, stretching, heat and/or ice and pain medication/anti-inflammatories.
Witnessing the pain my dad is experiencing because of sciatic nerve pain has encouraged me to generate some awareness of what this condition involves. Please be sure to take care of your back and strengthen back muscles regardless of your age in an attempt to avoid developing this condition.