Sciatica is a condition in which one tends to experience pain in their lower back region and the surrounding areas such as buttocks, legs, feet etc. This condition is mainly caused due to compression and irritation caused in the sciatic nerve, or the nerve roots that combine together to generate the sciatic nerve. In addition to the severe pain, one also experiences weakness in the muscles, sense of numbness, or problems in movement and control of the legs. Generally, only one of the sides of the body gets affected.
The compression of the lumbar nerves present in the human body is one of the causes of Sciatica. Along with lumbar nerves, the sacral nerves also may play a part. As already stated, compression of the sciatic nerve itself is one of the root causes.
Risk Factors Associated With Sciatica
The risk factors that are commonly associated with sciatica are problems in ones health, choice in lifestyle, and factors affecting the innate qualities, like, race, age etc.
Diabetic Condition: Diabetes is the condition in which the levels of sugar in the human body tend to exceed their norm and hence makes a person more prone to a damage of the nervous system.
Age: As one grows older, there are changes in the spinal region in a person’s body. These changes are one of the most common causes of the sciatic condition. The disks present in the spinal chord tend to deteriorate with time and as one approach the age of thirty, this is most common.
Lifestyle-related changes: A good example of this would be sitting in one position for long hours, for relaxing one’s body. Sitting in one position mustn’t be prolonged, for, this makes a person more naïve to sciatica than those who are comparatively active in their day to day chores.
Occupation: If one is occupied in a job which demands them to frequently carry heavier weights, twist their backs, or be on the move for long durations of time, such people are more prone to sciatic condition.
Most cases of sciatica can be treated by one or more of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications (for example NSAIDs or oral steroids)
- Pain medication (for example acetaminophen)
- Surgery: Surgical options such as lumbar laminectomy and microdiskectomy are considered as good options by many. The difference between the rates of success of diskectomy and microdiskectomy is almost miniscule, but one tends to experience lesser pain and fast recovery with microdiskectomy.
- Structural integration
- Stretching exercises