Have you ever experienced a tingling, numbness, or burning sensation in your leg or foot?
How about a dull tooth-ache type of pain in your buttocks or down the back/side part of your leg?
Possibly you have felt an electric shock shooting down the leg.
THIS IS PROBABLY SCIATICA
Sciatica is an irritation and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica's main symptom is pain ranging from an intermittent dull ache to extreme sharpness in the entire leg and buttocks.
Most sciatica is one-sided, affecting only one leg. It may involve the entire leg, or just portions of the leg. It may be accompanied by numbness and tingling in the leg or foot.
When it is severe, the pain is almost unbearable and pain medication does little to help. This is when a surgical consultation is necessary.
If these symptoms are experienced in both legs, it's time to see a professional.
If you experienced sciatica once it may never return. But sometimes it may come and go for years.
The question is: WHAT CAUSED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
1. Injuries - Not Necessarily One Big Traumatic Event- More likely an accumulation of several minor injuries which pulls the spine out of alignment.
2. Thinning Lumbar Discs- Poor postural habits, age, osteoporosis, repetitive bending and lifting, wear down the discs between the vertebrae. Thin discs reduce the size of where the sciatic nerve exits the spine. This puts pressure on the nerve.
3. Disc Herniations- End plates (the top and bottom of the vertebra) become weak and small cracks appear. The lumbar disc becomes mis-shaped and move into these cracks OR bulge outside it's normal parameter. Sometimes the herniation comes in contact with the sciatic nerve.
4. Piriformis Syndrome- The piriformis muscle is located in the buttocks and is responsible for hip rotation. This muscle also keeps the sciatic nerve in it's correct place. Piriformis Syndrome is when the muscle starts putting abnormal pressure on the sciatic nerve. This syndrome can be the result of overdone exercise, like walking, running, or squats. Also, if the buttock muscles are weak, the piriformis can't hold it's position and pressure on the sciatic nerve can occur.
5. Anterior Pelvis - This is when there is too much curve in the small of the back (bubble butt). When the curve is too great the bones in the lumbar spine move closer together decreasing the area needed for nerves exiting the spine.
6. Pregnancy- Rapid "front-end load” during pregnancy requires one to lean back for balance. This brings the lumbar vertebra closer together. Pregnancy also causes loose joints, muscle cramps, and frequent sciatic pressure. This is generally temporary and sciatica recedes after giving birth.
MOST SCIATICA IS CAUSED BY A MISALIGNMENT OF THE SPINE.
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