What Exactly Is Sciatica?

by | Nerve Pain, Sciatica


The human spine is like a modern skyscraper.

It defies gravity and defines us as vertical bipeds.

Our spine  is the core infrastructure of an organic machine and acts as a conduit for neural structures.

Subjected to ageing, the spine adjusts to the wear and tear of gravity.

The lumbar vertebrae are the five lowest and largest bones of the spinal column.

Much of our body’s weight and stress falls on these lumbar vertebrae.

This can place pressure on one or more of the lumbar nerve roots.

This causes pain in parts or all of the sciatic nerves.

Spine care is vital…

So What Exactly Is Sciatica?

Sciatica (pronounced sigh-at-ih-kah) is a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Sciatica is not a diagnosis, but rather a description of symptoms.

The main nerve travelling down the leg is the sciatic nerve.

This nerve is the longest nerve in the body.sciatica-pain

It runs from the lower back and pelvis, through the hip and buttock area, down to the back of each leg.

The sciatic nerve controls many of the muscles in these areas.

Pain associated with the sciatic nerve usually originates when nerve roots in the spinal cord become compressed or damaged.

Did You Know?

In the United states and worldwide, over 3 million visits are made to the emergency room annually for back pain symptoms.

About 84% of people will experience lower back pain in their lifetime.

To help treat back pain, please read

For more information on treatments for sciatica, please read Treating Lower Back Pain In A Few Easy Steps.

Causes Of Sciatica

pain pgSciatica
occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched.

Usually, this will affect only one side of the lower body.

This is usually caused by a herniated disk in your spine or by a bone spur on your vertebrae.

More rarely, the nerve may be compressed by a tumor.

The sciatic nerve can also be damaged by a disease such as diabetes, but a slipped disc is the most common cause of sciatica.

Unfortunately, sometimes doctors do not find an obvious cause of the pain.

There are other things that may make your back pain worse, they include:

  • Being overweight
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Wearing high heels
  • Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft.

Sciatica Symptoms

Sciatica causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

The most common symptoms of sciatica include:Sciatic-Nerve-Pain

  • Numbing, burning or tingling sensations in the legs or toes.
  • Extremely painful shooting pains that tend to worsen when walking, sitting, coughing, sneezing or after any physical activity.
  • Muscle weakness or poor coordination in the leg or foot.
  • A constant pain on the one side of your buttock.
  • Lower back pain present with severe leg pain.

Pain or numbness due to sciatica can vary widely.

It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation.

In some cases, the pain is severe enough to cause immobility.

What Are The Risk Factors?

Age, diabetes, obesity, occupation and prolonged sitting all play a part in the development of sciatica.


Treatment is usually focused on relieving the underlying causes of the symptoms.

Most of the time, there is no need for surgery.

For most people, sciatica responds well to self-care.

Lifestyle & Home Remedies

1. Stretch: This may help relieve root compression.

2. Hot/Cold Packs: Relief may be found through alternating hot and cold packs.

3. See A Chiropractor: Recent studies found that chiropractic treatment can be very effective for those suffering from sciatica.

4. Try Acupuncture: Many report relief as soon as the first session has been completed.

5. Practice Yoga: Yoga may help reduce pain and disability by up to 77%.

6. Get A Massage: Trigger-point therapy is best.

Can Sciatica Be Prevented?exercise-stretch

The good news is that sciatica can be prevented.

Follow these three simple steps to avoid future back pain.

  • Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees.
  • Maintain proper posture when you sit.
  • Exercise regularly.

Back pain can disrupt your life.

Take care of your spine, please read

If you would like more information on sciatica pain, please read Correct Posture For Treating Back Pain.

You might also like

Live a Future Without Chronic Nerve Pain

Live a Future Without Chronic Nerve Pain

There are over 100 different types of nerve pain which can affect the human body. It is estimated that about 1 in every 50 Americans will suffer from peripheral nerve pain or damage during their lifetime. This debilitating condition can be extremely frustrating,...

Neuralgia Pain Finally A Thing Of The Past

Neuralgia is sharp, shocking nerve pain that occurs when a nerve is irritated. It is far more common in elderly people, but it may occur at any age. Treating related disorders such as diabetes and renal insufficiency may help to PREVENT some forms of neuralgia. Pain...