Sciatica is the pain that occurs due to irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. It is one of the leading causes of lower back and leg pain in people.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest in the body. It runs from the lumbar region of the spinal cord (lower back), all through the buttocks, and down into the back of the leg. Most of the time, sciatica pain only affects one leg. The pain may extend as far as the ankle and foot.
The sciatic nerve plays a role in the transmitting of signals to and from the brain and the legs. Since it is very long, it is more prone to injury. A small amount of pressure is all it takes to cause pain to the sciatic nerve.
How can you tell if you have sciatica? Here are some of the warning signs and symptoms of the condition. At the end of the post, we will discuss how to get rid of sciatica naturally.
1. Lower back pain
This is the hallmark symptom of sciatica. The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back, which explains why pain first occurs in this area. What happens is a swelling spot of a bone, tissue, or a herniated disc is pinching the nerve. Lower back pain can be dull, stabbing, sharp, or aching. The pain may intensify upon your movement.
2. Hip pain
Another prevalent symptom of sciatica is hip pain. However, not all hip pain is due to sciatica. People may deal with hip pain for days before they figure out sciatica is the cause. The pain of sciatica can affect any area between the lower back and the legs, including the hips.
3. A burning feeling
All nerves in the body are responsible for carrying all kinds of information. They don’t just tell you that you are in pain, they also send the brain critical messages like how heavy the object you are carrying, how fast your legs are moving, what is touching your skin, and other similar information. The sciatic nerve helps you know why your legs experience different sensations. The burning sensation comes in when sending of signals become distorted. It is similar to when you get an allergic reaction.
4. Pain in the buttocks
As we have mentioned, the sciatic nerve has the critical job of relaying signals to the brain about what is going on in the legs. Signals that enter or leave either the brain or the legs always travel through the sciatic nerve. There can be pain anywhere the sciatic nerve, including in the buttocks. Pain in the buttocks makes some movements challenging, such as sitting, squatting, and standing.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night feeling extreme numbness in your arm or leg? Sciatica can be behind it. Tingling occurs when there is deprivation of blood circulation in your nerves. You can also call it pins and needles sensation. The spot can be tingly, numb, or immovable.
6. Shooting pain
Sciatica patients may feel this when they stand up or sit down. It is due to a sudden shift in position or movement that causes a pinched nerve.
This often accompanies tingling. Numbness can be a bizarre sensation. When touching the numb spot, you may experience a sort of buzzing feeling, or you may not feel it at all. This is a result of the blockage of information reaching your brain due to a pinched nerve. It is similar to when you take a cable that connects to the back of your TV and moves it slightly. The picture in your screen may come through somewhat but it will be hazy and incomplete.
Weakness also has a connection to numbness and tingling. It just makes sense that when an area of your body feels numb and tingly, it is also weak and hard to move. The weak leg may not cooperate when you try to walk or move it. On the other hand, total loss of movement is uncommon.
Although swelling is not actually due to sciatica, it occurs with the pain simultaneously. This is because sciatica is due to any pressure in the sciatic nerve, possibly from fracture, sprained muscle, or trauma.
10. Difficulty standing
If your muscles are weak and in pain, not to mention parts of your lower body are tingly and numb, you would most likely have difficulty standing up. When you have sciatica, you may feel a stabbing pain or a dull ache when you try to stand.
How to Get Rid of Sciatica
Not surprisingly, lower back pain and sciatica can stem from a misalignment in the bones of the upper neck. Why is this the case?
Since the spine is consists of joints, muscles, and ligaments working as a team, a misalignment in the neck can lead to an improper posture of a person. As a result, irritation or inflammation of the bones of the spine occurs, causing nerves to become pinched.
Upper cervical chiropractors, whichever city they are from, use a gentle and safe technique that moves back the neck bones into their correct positions using only low force. This practice does not involve cracking the neck. Once corrections become fruitful, the muscles can begin to heal, and the pain of sciatica can improve significantly.