What is Sciatica

Sciatica is leg pain results due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve that is the largest nerve in the body that goes from the spinal cord to the lower limb through the buttock area. It travels from the buttock to the thigh and goes to the calf. There are two types of sciatica:

Acute sciatica (short-term) Chronic sciatica (long-term)

Acute sciatica goes on its own after few days or weeks. It does not require any medical treatment. You can reduce the pain by taking pain killers or just by using heat pads or cold pads on the concerned area. It can last for four to eight weeks.

Whereas, chronic sciatica does require medical treatment and it does not go on its own. It stays for a longer period of time and in severe cases it might even require a surgery to get rid of the sciatica pain.

Sciatica is caused due to some problem in the sciatica nerve. It might be caused due to a slipped disc. When the disc is pushed out of its place, it can cause irritation in sciatica nerve and as a result you get sciatica pain. It can also be caused due to:

Lumbar spinal stenosis :- This condition usually causes narrowing of the spinal cord which in turn causes sciatica pain. It is commonly caused with age people. Spondylolisthesis: it is the condition in which a disc slips forward on the vertebra, pinching the sciatica nerve. Tumors: tumors in spinal cord can also be one of the reasons for sciatica pain. Infection: if there is some infection with the spinal cord, then also it can cause sciatica pain. Injury: certain injury due to some accident can also be a reason for irritation in the sciatica nerve. Cauda equina syndrome: it is a serious problem and requires immediate medical treatment. It can also affect the nervous system and can damage it permanently.

Age, profession and life style also affects sciatica nerve. Usually people over the age of 40 who do sitting job or the people who lift heavy loads develop this disease. The symptoms through which are possible in this disease can be numbness or weakness in the leg, pain in the buttock, difficulty in walking and tingling feeling in the leg or feet. For mild pain, you can try massage to reduce the pain and for if in case it is severe and chronic, you can seek medical advice before the problem gets worsen.

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