Sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, is a common form of nerve pain that is typically felt from the lower region of the back to behind the thigh, and can radiate down below the knee. It is one of the most common and well-known types of nerve pain that people experience. Sciatica affects the sciatic nerve, which is a nerve that extends from the lower back and down the back of each leg. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend down to the feet or toes. The pain that comes from sciatic nerve pain depends on the person. Sometimes, the pain can be severe and people cannot function due to the amount of pain that they are feeling. Other times, the pain is infrequent and irritating, but does not cause a person to be bed ridden due to the pain. There are different causes and symptoms that come along with sciatic nerve pain, and if any of them are felt, you should seek medical attention in order to curb the pain before it worsens.
The main cause of sciatica is the irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. There are also other causes for sciatica, including: irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone, tumors, muscle, internal bleeding, infections, lumbar spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, degenerative disc disease, which is the breakdown of discs, the ones that act as a cushion between the vertebrae, and pregnancy. Pregnancy can put a lot of pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is why it is one of the common causes of sciatic nerve pain. Along with the causes of sciatic nerve pain, there are things that can make the pain worse. By not exercising regularly, wearing high heels too often, sleeping on a mattress that is too soft, or by being overweight, a person can make the pain worse along with these many causes.
The most important thing to pay attention to when trying to decide if you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain are the symptoms. They are quite specific to sciatica, because they are in a specific region of the body. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention in order to find relief that is right for you. Symptoms of sciatica include: pain in the rear or leg, burning or tingling down the leg, constant pain on one side of the rear, a shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up, and weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot. Sciatica can make walking incredibly difficult, and sometimes the symptoms of sciatica are exasperated by walking or bending at the waist. Sometimes, the pain can feel more like hip pain, even though sciatica is associated with lower back pain. Even though sciatica is associated with low back pain, there can be sciatic nerve pain without the presence of lower back pain. Often times, people can live with sciatic nerve pain, but you should seek immediate medical attention if you have numbness in the upper thighs, lower extremity weakness, or loss of bladder or bowel control. If you experience any of these symptoms, or any of the causes of sciatic nerve pain, consult your doctor to see what treatments are right for your specific situation.