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Sciatica definition

The longest nerve of human body, called sciatic. When it get compressed for some reason, may causes different kinds of irritations throughout the neuronal path. This can happen in any part, starting from lower back area, hips, buttocks, knee, calf up to the feet. The pain or numbness hits generally in one side of the leg.This condition is being called sciatica in short.

Spine and sciatic nerve Overview - sciatica nerve root

Sciatica effects mostly three parts of in lower body.

  • Lumbar spine area which is lower parts of the spine
  • Hip joint area legs and toe area.
  • In some cases, you can have no pain in your L4/L5 disc where the nerve pressed by these discs. It can travel down by the neural path and occurs in your calf or feet area.

If the pain, numbness or tingling sensation travels over these parts of your body, you can be assured that it is of sciatica.

You can identify the root location of your sciatica pain by the symptoms, discussed below.

Scistica nerve
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Note :

L4 disc - If sciatica arises from L4 nerve root, pain will show up in hip, thigh and inner part of the knee and calf. Weakness in thigh and calf muscle is also common in this case.

L5 disc - If sciatica arises from L5 nerve root, you will have pain in buttock, outer thigh and leg area. You might also feel weakness and numbness in thighs.

S1 disc - If sciatica arises from S1 nerve root, generally pain arises in the buttocks, the back of the calf and side of your foot. You might face difficulties raising the foot sometimes.

Symptoms & cause

Pain: The first symptoms of sciatica is pain. You might feel the pain moving from lower spaniel column through hips and back of your thigh and leg. Generally, it is been reported that the pain is more sharp and gives burning sensation in leg region rather than lower back area.

Weakness: Weakness in different areas of the leg might stay for one to two weeks. At times you might not be able to lift the leg because of heaviness in foot.

Altered sensation: In this condition, numbness, burning, tingling or some kind of needle-pocking sensations raises throughout the neural pathways.

Change in posture might ease or provoke the pain. If you are lying down in one side and your pain is constant, by changing the position the pain can relieve or aggravate. At times you might feel irritating with the situation.

Cause of sciatica

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Lumbar herniated disc / Slipped Disc - It happens when inner material of disc spikes out through outer core and pinches root of the sciatic nerve. This is the most common cause of sciatica.

Degenerative disc - Spinal disk almost works like shock absorber between spinal bones or vertebrae. As you get older it gets wear and tear. It gets weaker by excessive motion. Bones spurs and sometimes get degenerated and pressed against the nerve which will cause sciatic.

Spondylolisthesis  - In this condition vertebrae gets slipped forward over another, which causes dis-balances in spinal disc structure. It affects the nervous system. 

Lumbar spinal stenosis - It is a condition when spinal canal in the lower back become narrow. 

Muscle spasm - Sciatica nerve runs below the piriformis muscle (buttock muscle). If in any chance, this muscle get hurt, it can pinch or irritate sciatica nerve, which in turn can cause sciatica pain.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction - Sacroiliac joint located at the bottom of the spinal column. For some reason it gets irritated, can effect L5 nerve root, which can cause pain in sciatica nerve.

Other reasons - Except all of these above reasons there are few reasons which can cause sciatica in the long term. Like spinal tumor, scar tissues after surgery, pregnancy muscle strain, overweight, sleeping in too soft bed etc.  

Vitamin B complex is plays major role in sciatica condition. Especially B6, B9 and B12. Except that Vitamin - C is also highly recommended by doctors for sciatica patients.

When to get serious
Some condition can be mild, while sometimes the pain stays more than a week and the pain become severe. It should make you enough trouble to see a doctor.

Types of Sciatic
Acute sciatica - This is a very early stage, between 4- 8 weeks of pain. This condition can be taken care of by natural treatment and a holistic approach towards your life. You can take Hot and cold therapy treatment, yoga classes and take medicines, consulting doctor.

Chronic sciatica - If the pain persists for more than 8 -10 weeks, it might need serious attention. This requires surgical or non-surgical treatment.

Bilateral sciatica - In this case pain occurs in both legs, which is not very common. In this case you might experience serious back pain as well.

Alternating sciatica - When the nerve pain affects each leg alternatively, is called alternating sciatica. This is also a rare case but is serious, because it occurs from herniated disc dysfunction.

Prevention guidelines
Yoga and stretching - There are several yoga and pranayama postures that can help relax the nervous system. Some basic stretching can relax piriformis muscle. It is extremely important to strengthen your back and hip muscles to support the spine.

Proper lifting technique - If your job involved some sort of lifting, practice squads. This will help you to understand how to shift the weight to you thighs and not pressurize the lower back spine.

Good posture - Always maintain proper posture while sitting in your chair. Also make sure you are using your complete feet touching against the floor.

Diet - Vitamin B complex and C is highly recommended in this condition. Add green leafy vegetables in your diet.

Some holistic talk - Sciatica is more of lifestyle diseases than old age problem. If you take care of your spine health properly, you will never have these kind of issues. If you are already diagnosed with this condition at an early age, try be conscious (start eating healthy food, be aware of your posture and of course start your daily yoga practice ) before it gets chronic. Those who are seeing doctor and already done with their surgery, please make pranayama breathing is you life long friend.....

I can also command you certain yoga practices. Your welcome to drop a mail at

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