This article is not a scientific account of sciatica, but my very personal experience of it, how it affected me and what I tried to do to recover or at least get some improvement. I tried to pass on some of the more general information about sciatica that I discovered on the internet and how it helped or did not help me on the road of recovery.
I discovered that there are a number of reasons why you “get” sciatica or sciatic lower back pain. For myself, I can only give a guesstimate of what the reason is why I got sciatica as I did not go for a MRI or CT scan (because of financial constraints). My MD explained to me that sciatica is not a disease, but only describes a certain kind of pain. Apparently this pain is caused by any kind of pressure on the large sciatic nerve that exits through an opening in the spine in the lumbar region and travels down through the buttocks and then to the back of the leg, thus “transferring” the pain to these areas.
I just want to add that since that fateful day that I was diagnosed with sciatica back pain, I made an in-depth study of this affliction to get as most information about it to see what I can do to get a cure. Now I do not say that I know everything about sciatica, but I am confident that I do know much, much more about it and the way it affects a person. As far as a cure is concerned, as I mentioned earlier, this is something that one has to try different treatments or combination of treatments to find out what is the best for you.
I was diagnosed with sciatica about a year ago in February 2014 after experiencing the classic sciatic lower back, buttock and leg pain and in this article I will chat about the source of sciatica, what may be the cause and finally how to get rid or completely cure it.
To start off, I want to give you a picture of what sciatica is, how you get it, how it affects a person and the different types of treatments that you can experiment with. There are drugs, exercises, stretching exercises, creams and even a psychological approach to the problem.
How do You Get Sciatica. Part 1
Primarily, there is no single cure for sciatica and every person will have his/her own set of treatments for the problem. This suggests that a certain number of trials and errors must be done before one can find a balanced and individualized treatment plan that will be based on the symptoms, diagnosis and reaction to the various treatments.
· Characteristics of Sciatica.
o You will have a continuous pain from the pinched area in your back, running through the buttocks down to the leg, sometimes even reaching your foot. Very rarely this can affect both legs.
o This pain in the leg will make it very difficult to stand.
o Lying down or sitting can make it worse.
o You will find a weakness or numbness of the leg and it will be difficult to move.
o The pain can be described as a very sharp, stinging pain that can at times become unbearable.
The 6 Types of Medical Conditions that can Cause Sciatica.
There are basically six different reasons of what can cause sciatic back pain:
1. Lumbar Herniated Disk.
2. Degenerative Disk Disease.
3. Isthmic spondylolisthesis.
4. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.
5. Piriformis Syndrome.
6. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
I will try to explain what these important sounding terms means:-
1. Lumbar Herniated Disk.
A lumbar disk consists of an outer portion which contains a soft inner portion. When the fibrous outer portion ruptures, the softer inner portion leaks out into the spinal canal putting pressure on the spinal nerve. This will cause pain to travel down the nerve into the buttocks and down the leg.
Symptoms of a Lumbar Herniated Disc
Basically sciatica usually starts with a severe pain in the lower back, buttocks and the leg.
This pain can be followed by numbness or tingling and weakness in the leg, making it difficult to walk and dragging the foot.
The leg pain may in some cases even be more severe that the back pain
Sometimes this can also affect the bowel and bladder functions, at which point you are urged to consult a physician because it can point to a very serious medical condition.
L4-L5 and L5-S1 Disc Herniation Symptoms.
Most of these conditions will occur in the bottom lower part of the spine, affecting the L4-L5 or L5-S1 levels. Classic sciatica symptoms will be present and can lead to the following:
L5 nerve impingement at the L4-L5 level. This can also bring a weakness in the ankle and big toe, but the numbness will be felt on top of the foot with the pain extending to the buttocks…
S1 nerve impingement at the L5-S1 levels. Causes weakness or loss of the ankle reflex and /or a weakness in lifting up the big toe (toe rises). The patient can also experience pain down the sole or outside of the foot.
This is the first instalment of a series of “How do you Get Sciatica” These articles will begin with the discussion of what is sciatica, how you can contract Sciatica, then move on to the different conditions that can cause it, and lastly, what you can do for relief of the pain. In the second part of these articles, I will discuss the condition called Degenerative Disk Disease. (DDD)