Sciatica

Sciatica is a set of symptoms that includes pain radiating from the back down through the buttock and leg. The term "sciatic nerve" actually refers to 2 distinct nerves named the tibial and common peroneal nerves, enclosed in a common sheath.

Irritation of one or both of these nerves, often termed sciatica, may result in pain extending to the buttock, hip or down the back of the leg.

It is important to keep in mind that sciatica is a symptom and not a disorder; it is a signal of another problem. The underlying problem must be addressed as well as the symptom in order to alleviate the pain.

Symptoms:

  • Pain - likely to occur along the path of the nerve, from the lower back to the buttock down through the leg, usually occurs in one leg and may increase with prolonged sitting
  • Numbness or weakness - along the path of the nerve, may make it difficult to move the leg, or may experience numbness in one part of the leg and have pain in another area
  • Tingling or burning down the leg- often in the toes or part of the foot.
  • A constant pain on one side of the buttock

Common causes:

  • Herniated disk
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis - occurs when a vertebra moves slightly forward over another vertebra which can put pressure on the nerves
  • Piriformis syndrome - occurs when the piriformis muscle goes into spasms or becomes tight, which increases the pressure on the nerves
  • Spinal tumors
  • Trauma
  • Nerve tumor or injury

Risk Factor:

  • Age - people between the ages of 30 to 50 years old are more prone to sciatica pain
  • Occupation - jobs that require a lot of tw
  • isting, sitting, carrying heavy loads or driving a motor vehicle for long periods of time Prolonged sitting - People who have a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop sciatic pain then active more people
  • Improper ergonomics- incorrect chair height or workplace arrangement can lead to inappropriate stress on the lower back
  • Posture- forward flexed posture results in increased tension in the lower back causing strain on muscles and nerves
  • Muscular imbalances- result in increased muscle tension which can cause excess strain on the nerves
  • Abdominal or core weakness- leave the spine and nervous system vulnerable to stress or injury
  • Diabetes - can increase risk for nerve damage.