Are you worried that you might be suffering from sciatica? Maybe you’ve already been diagnosed by a doctor. Or maybe you’ve decided to search the Internet to see if you are indeed struggling with this condition.
There are many frequent questions about the sciatic nerve and how it can cause pain and tingling throughout the nerve’s path. We will do our best to tackle the most frequently asked questions and provide adequate answers so that you have a solid understanding of what this condition is all about.
Q: What Is Sciatica?
A: Sciatica is the common name for pain caused by an inflammation and irritation of the Sciatic Nerve, which is a large nerve that runs from your lower back, through the buttocks and down the back of the leg to the foot.
Q: What Are the Primary Symptoms of Sciatica?
A: The overall symptom is a feeling of pain, tingling, burning or a feeling of electric shock along the sciatic nerve path.
A person will most likely feel this pain and discomfort if the sciatic nerve is being injured or compressed. The injury is typically harming the fibers that make up the sciatic nerve.
Q: How Can I Tell If I Have Sciatica?
A: This is easy enough to determine. It all comes down to the path that the sciatic nerve travels. If you are experiencing weakness and pain in this area, or possibly changes of sensation like jolts, tingling, numbness or cold and hot feelings, then you may be suffering from sciatica.
It’s also possible you are suffering with this condition if you are experiencing skin irritation or weakness of the muscles supplied by the fibers of this nerve.
Q: What Are the Most Common Areas of the Body That Experience Pain from Sciatica?
A: Here they are in no particular order:
- Down the back of the leg
- In the back of the knee
- Behind the inner ankle going to the sole of the foot
- On the inside of the calf
- Possible lower back pain
- Pain going from the mid-buttock and traveling down the back of the leg until it reaches the knee
Q: What Are the Reasons That People Get Sciatica?
A: This condition comes about because the sciatic nerve fibers are injured. The injury will typically take place in four potential places, including:
- In the cauda equina (a bundle of nerves, which is inside of the spinal canal)
- the area where the sciatic nerve muscles pass through the spine openings, also known as neuroforamina
- In the lumbrosacral plexus (the pelvis)
- The place where the sciatic nervous leaves the pelvis, along the leg or the place below the piriformis muscle (in the buttock region)
Q: What Are Sciatica’s Main Causes?
A: By far, the most common cause of sciatica is due to compression of the nerve by a vertebra (spinal bone) or disk. When a spinal bone mis-aligns, it can cause bone spurs and damage to the disk. Any of these factors (bone mis-alignment, bone spur, herniated disk) can cause sciatica.
The main causes of sciatica are as follows:
- Vertebra slippage (spondylolisthesis)
- Slipped or herniated disc (herniated nucleus pulposus)
- Piriformis muscle pressure on the buttock region of the sciatic nerve
- Spinal canal narrowing that adds pressure to the sciatic nerve fibers
- Nervous system abnormality (neuropathy)
- Tumors (although this is rare compared to the above factors)
Q: Should I See a Chiropractor If I Have Sciatica?
A: It’s very possible that a chiropractor will be able to help you with pain management when suffering with this condition. A chiropractor will be able to relieve the pain and pressure so that you can begin feeling like yourself again.
Unlike many typical medical treatments, a chiropractor can actually fix problems instead of prescribing medicine to mask symptoms. So you can walk away from this experience with an actual correction of the condition instead of a prescription which will only help eliminate the pain.