Sciatica is the symptom of an underlying medical condition. Understanding the possible causes of sciatica can help focus treatment on addressing the root problem rather than just masking the symptoms.
The mechanism of sciatic nerve injury is either a result of direct nerve compression, inflammation, an abnormal immune system response of the body, or a combination of all these factors.
Common causes of sciatica include:
Lumbar herniated disc. Research suggests that up to 90% of sciatica is caused by a lumbar herniated disc. The herniated disc typically compresses one or more spinal nerve roots (L4-S3) that form the sciatic nerve.
Degeneration. Degeneration of tissues in the lumbar spine can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve. Degeneration of the facet joints can also cause the synovial tissue in the joint’s capsule to inflame and increase in bulk. Degeneration of vertebral bone may cause abnormal bone growths (bone spurs or osteophytes). These abnormally bulky tissues in the lumbar spine may cause compression of one or more nerve roots of the sciatic nerve. Degenerated intervertebral discs may secrete inflammatory proteins, causing inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
The symptoms of sciatica may range from infrequent and irritating to severe and debilitating. The symptoms depend on the specific spinal nerve root that is irritated and/or compressed at the origin of the sciatic nerve. One or more nerve roots may be affected together.
Common Sciatica Symptoms：
Pain. Sciatica pain may be constant or intermittent. The pain is usually described as a burning sensation or a sharp,shooting pain. The pain is usually more severe in the leg compared to the back. Leg pain commonly occurs more in the calf region below the knee compared to other parts of the leg.
Altered sensation. Numbness, tingling,and/or a pins-and-needles sensation may be felt at the back of the leg.
Change in posture may aggravate or relieve pain.
Sciatica pain may feel worse while sitting,trying to stand up,standing for a long time,bending the spine forward,twisting the spine,and/or while coughing.
Pain may increase or remain constant while lying down,causing disturbed sleep. Lying on the back with the knees slightly elevated and propped up with a pillow,or lying on the side with a pillow between the legs,may help relieve the pain in such cases.
The pain may be relieved while walking,applying a heat pack to the rear pelvic area,or doing pelvic exercises.
It is advisable to treat sciatica as early as possible in order to avoid the progression of symptoms. Sciatica treatment may include both nonsurgical and surgical methods. Typically, nonsurgical methods are tried first. Surgery may be indicated when the underlying cause is severe and/or progressive neurological deficits such as leg weakness occurs.
Nonsurgical Treatment for Sciatica
First line treatments of sciatica typically include some combination of physical therapy, medications, therapeutic injections, and alternative therapies.
Acute sciatica usually gets better with 4 to 6 weeks of nonsurgical treatment. For chronic sciatica with pain lasting over 8 weeks, treatment time may take longer and may depend on the underlying cause.
Physical Therapy for Sciatica
Alien capsule non surgical spinal decompression system use non-surgical force to eliminate muscle reactions, easily open the discs, make continuous negative pressure , then the protrusions return and lift the oppression of the protrusions.
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