Sciatica refers to the pain associated with the Sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve that extends down the lower back of each leg. The pain may be experienced down the back, outside or even the front part of the leg and usually, the symptoms are felt only on one leg or on one side of the body. The sciatic nerve happens to be the largest in the human body and at its thickest, can be as thick as an average human thumb!
Causes of Sciatica
The condition mainly occurs when a herniated disc or a bone spur (spine) exerts pressure and compresses the spinal nerves. Other causes include Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis. Even pregnancy is known to cause Sciatica. Spinal nerves that originate in the lower half of the spine exit through the gaps in the vertebrae and any rearrangement of the bones could likely causes stress on them at these exit points, resulting in sciatica.
Sciatica is experienced more in the middle ages. Constant pain is felt and it gets worse when one sits down. Some even feel a burning sensation in the leg. The pain sometimes makes it very difficult to walk or even to just stand up.
When the cause is lumbar disc herniation, the condition resolves soon; over weeks to few months. Regarding treatment, physical therapy has not yet proved to be better than rest. Medicines are also prescribed to control the pain.
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