PAIN, NUMBNESS, OR TINGLING IN THE LEG?
You Probably Have Sciatica
The sciatic nerve is made up of the nerve roots that exit the spinal cord from between the vertebrae of your low back and pelvis. These nerve roots join together and form the longest and largest nerve in the body (it's as big around as your finger) --- the sciatic nerve. This nerve originates in your low back, travels all the way down the legs, and ends up in your feet. "Sciatica" is the term used to describe an irritation or INFLAMMATION of the nerve. Sometimes these "irritations" are actually caused by a pinching of the nerve. This is commonly caused by a HERNIATED or RUPTURED DISC in the lumbar spine. However, it is also frequently caused by DEGENERATIVE DISCS or SPINAL STENOSIS. The pressure or irritation leads to a complex of symptoms that include radiating pain, burning, and/or numbness and tingling. This pain can be characterized as either being sharp or a dull nagging ache (or even both), and affects thousands of people every year.
Generally, HERNIATED or BULGING DISCS are the cause of the problem. The herniated material of the disc will compress or contact the exiting nerve root producing the symptoms. Sometimes you will see sciatica diagnosed or referred to as a "radiculopathy". This just means that one or more intervertebral discs have herniated or protruded from its normal position in the vertebral column, and is putting pressure on the nerves of the lower back, which forms the origins of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica occurs most frequently in people between 30 and 50 years of age. On many occasions this condition slowly develops as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine and discs. Rarely is this condition surgical. In fact, unless there is a rare sort of problem or injury, the majority of people who experience sciatica get pain relief with non-surgical treatments. NON-SURGICAL SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY, along with CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS, COLD LASER THERAPY, and CEREBELLAR REHABILITATION are frequently effective for the underlying causes of sciatica ---- especially when utilized in concert with each other.
One or more of the following sensations may occur as a result of sciatica:
- Pain in the buttocks or leg that is worse when sitting
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- Frequently, the leg pain is slightly worse than the back pain.
WARNING WARNING WARNING...........
Symptoms that may constitute a medical emergency include progressive weakness in the leg or a serious loss of bladder or bowel control. If this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
Oh, and do not confuse PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME (sciatica caused by a SCARRED muscle in the buttock ---- the Piriformis Muscle) is caused by HERNIATED DISCS or DEGENERATIVE DISCS. Although Piriformis Syndrome is not always associated with sciatica, more often than not, it is. It is important to remember that a 2005 UCLA Medical School study of 240 randomly picked individuals with Sciatica showed that Piriformis Syndrome was the number one cause of sciatica.