This term might be something that you have heard of from your doctor, advertisements, or even word of mouth. However, what really is sciatica and why is it becoming a common problem in our society today? Hence, we will be diving in to know more about sciatica inside out.
The word sciatica actually came from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body, and is formed by the union of 5 nerve root from the lumbar and sacral spine. The human body has 2 sciatic nerve, one of the left and right which is responsible with supplying the corresponding lower limb.
Origin: Starts at the spinal segment of L4, the sciatic nerve is formed by the merging spinal nerve roots from L4 to S3.
Path: The sciatic nerve exits the pelvic through the greater sciatic foramen, below the piriformis muscle. The nerve then runs along the back of the thigh, into the leg and finally to the end of the foot.
Sciatica is the symptoms of the conditions below:
1. Lumbar spinal stenosis
2. Lumbar degenerative disc disease
3. Herniated lumbar disc
5. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
How does sciatica develop?
Usually, sciatica takes a long period of time to develop. Therefore, a single event or trauma does not lead to sciatica. Sciatic is usually seen in people whereby their occupation is physically strenuous, such as machine operators or truck drivers. People who often bend their spines forward or sideway are at risk of having sciatica. This is due to the fact that the bending motion has cause physical damage to the lumbosacral area and therefore leading to sciatica.
Common sciatica symptoms
Normally, sciatica only affects one leg at a time and there will be a radiating sensation from the lower back or buttock to the thigh and down to the leg. Some of the common symptoms of sciatica are:
Pain: The pain is usually described as a burning sensation or a sharp, shooting pain. It can be a constant or intermittent pain. The pain is normally more painful in the leg compared to the lower back.
Weakness: There might be less strength on the affected leg. It will feel as if the leg is harder to move or feels like the leg is 'heavy'
Altered sensation: Sensations such as tingling, numbness can be felt at the thigh and buttocks region. It is also common to feel it at the calf and foot area.
Changing posture may aggravate the pain: There might be certain position that aggravates the condition. standing up, sitting, lying down, walking or even coughing/sneezing are some actions that will aggravate the pain
We hope that this article has taught you more about sciatica. In our next post we will be talking about the treatment of sciatica by Chiropractors and Physiotherapist
Excellent spine, Excellent health