Sciatica refers to the discomfort that originates in the lower back and travels down one leg, often extending towards the foot and toes. This occurs due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is compressed.
Consequently, individuals with sciatica may also experience a burning, tickling or prickly sensation on one side of their body. The intensity and type of pain vary depending on the location of the nerve compression. While some individuals may only suffer from mild discomfort, others may endure severe and incapacitating pain.
Recovery from a bout of sciatica typically occurs within a few weeks; however, the duration and severity of the pain can sometimes worsen or persist for a longer period, depending on the underlying cause.
Sciatica and Nerve Damage
While it is uncommon, there are cases where sciatica can lead to lasting nerve damage. However, the usual cause of sciatica pain, nerve irritation, is typically reversible. Indications of a more severe medical issue encompass bladder or bowel incontinence, increasing weakness, or leg numbness.
Where the Sciatic Nerve is Located:
The sciatic nerves are the longest nerves in the human body, stretching all the way from the lower back to the toes. These nerves exit the spine between two vertebrae in the lower back and travel behind the hip joint, down the buttock, and along the back of each leg, reaching all the way into the foot. Sciatica occurs when one or both of these nerves become irritated.
The most common cause of this irritation is the pressure applied by a herniated disc on the sciatic nerve root. It is important to note that even though leg pain is a common symptom of sciatica, many people mistakenly believe that the issue originates within the leg itself. Other potential causes of sciatica may include spinal tumors, spondylolisthesis, trauma, spinal stenosis, or injury to the sciatic nerve or its surrounding tissues.
Anybody Can Have Sciatica
Contrary to common belief, sciatica is not limited to individuals with a sedentary lifestyle. While sedentary people do face a higher risk, active individuals can also be affected, especially if they engage in activities that involve repetitive back twisting or heavy lifting.
Typically, sciatica resolves within a few weeks, and treatment options include exercise, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. However, for certain patients, prolonged pain may persist, requiring personalized treatment plans.
Sciatica Treatment Options
A gentler and less invasive approach to treating sciatica is through non-surgical spinal decompression treatment. This method involves gently relieving pressure on the spinal discs, which in turn alleviates the pain caused by sciatica.
If you or someone you know is experiencing sciatica, reach out to us now for a complimentary consultation. Our team of medical experts can assess whether gentle, non-surgical spinal decompression treatment is a suitable option for addressing your sciatica and other spinal discomfort.
Contact Seattle Disc Center at 425-204-WELL (9355) to Schedule Your Consultation Today!