Sciatica is pain that occurs anywhere along the sciatic nerve, but it commonly begins in your lower back and radiates down your leg. It usually occurs on one side of your body. Nerves originate in your brain and go down the center of your spine, branching out from between each vertebra to reach all areas of your body. The sciatic nerve branches out at the base of the spine then go through each side of your buttocks and down each leg.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Pain is the primary symptom, although it varies from a general ache to a pain that’s sharp, burning, or excruciating. Numbness or tingling often develop in the affected leg or foot. You may also experience muscle weakness in your leg, or commonly in the foot.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica develops when the sciatic nerve is compressed by vertebrae or a muscle. In rare cases, the nerve may be damaged by a disease like diabetic neuropathy. The most common causes include:
- Herniated disc
- Muscle spasm near the nerve
- Misaligned vertebrae
- Narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
- Bone spurs
- Pinched nerve caused by injury
You’re more likely to get sciatica as you get older, as pressure on your lower back over time causes degeneration and herniated discs. Other factors can also increase your risk by putting extra pressure on the lower spine, such as being overweight, prolonged sitting, and jobs that require heavy lifting.
The team at MultiCare Medical Group provide diverse treatment options that effectively relieve sciatica pain and promote your body’s natural ability to heal. Your sciatica treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Spinal Injections
- Spinal Decompression
- Chiropractic Manipulations
- Physical Therapy
- Therapeutic Massage