Sciatica is pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. Branches of the sciatic nerve extend through the buttocks and down the back of each leg to the ankle and foot.
CAUSES OF SCIATICA
The most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or ruptured disc (herniated disc) in the spine pressing against the sciatic nerve. However, sciatica also can be a symptom of other conditions that affect the spine, such as narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), bone spurs (small, bony growths that form along joints) caused by arthritis, or nerve root compression (pinched nerve) caused by injury. In rare cases, sciatica can also be caused by conditions that do not involve the spine, such as tumors or pregnancy.
SYMPTOMS OF SCIATICA
Symptoms of sciatica include pain that begins in your back or buttocks and moves down your leg and may move into your foot. Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the leg may also occur.
Sitting, standing for a long time, and movements that cause the spine to flex(such as knee-to-chest exercises) may worsen symptoms.
Walking, lying down, and movements that extend the spine (such as shoulder lifts) may relieve symptoms.
The most common cause of true sciatica is a "slipped disc". The discs(or inter-vertebral discs) are the cushions which separate the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Your doctor may refer to a slipped disc as a prolapsed intervertebral disc (PID) or a herniated nucleus pulposus.
The intervertebral disc looks a bit like a draughts/checkers piece in shape.The ring around the outside is tough and fibrous, and the centre is rather more like the consistency of a chewy sweet. These discs allow for some flexibility between the bones of the spine, and also act as shock absorbers.
The pressures within the discs can reach high levels when we bend or twist,even without carrying a heavy load. If we add to that a heavy load, especially held out at arms' length, the pressures rise even higher.
If part of the fibrous outer ring of the disc is rather weaker than the rest,the softer centre (nucleus pulposus) may push its way through, bulging out wards. If this bulge presses against a nerve which is running from the main,central nervous system to one of the legs, it causes symptoms in that leg.
Sciatica occurs when the herniated disc presses against the nerves which go to make up the sciatic nerve. This is more likely to cause problems when the nerve is squashed by this, usually between the disc and an adjacent bone.
Nerves have many functions, transmitting messages around the body, rather like a telephone system. They allow us to feel things that happen to us, such as things we touch or that touch us, hot and cold, and pain, and they cause our body to do things, eg making your leg muscles contract when you want to walk.Thus, when a nerve is squashed, it may malfunction, and we might feel pain,numbness, pins and needles, and we might find our limbs do not work in the way they should.
Other things can cause irritation of or pressure on a nerve in the spine.Sometimes this may be a rough and enlarged part of one of the vertebrae,brought about by ageing, and sometimes rarer conditions, infections and tumours are to blame. Most times the cause is nothing too serious, but one of the reasons for seeing your doctor if the pain persists, is to make sure that serious and treatable causes have been ruled out.
(Sciatica treatment by our Wave Therapy at our Center" with no side effects, and our by in long-research successful result*.)