Sciatica is a medical condition that is characterized by leg pain, tingling, numbness or weakness that starts in the lower back and radiates down the course of the large sciatic nerve situated at the posterior aspect of the leg. The sciatic nerve tends to get irritated, inflamed or impinged; and this triggers the symptoms of sciatica.
The nerve commences at the L3, lumbar segment. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, down the back of each leg. The nerve branches out to innervate the buttocks, thighs, calves, feet, and toes.
The occurrence of sciatica increases with age. It seldom occurs before 20 years, and the likelihood of experiencing sciatic pain peaks at 50 years and then declines.
By and large, a specific event, trauma or injury is not responsible for sciatica, but, the pain tends to develop gradually over a period of time.
Sciatic Nerve Damage Symptoms
- Lumbar herniated disc: when the soft inner core of the disc extrudes through the fibrous outer core, it may irritate the nerve. Injury or a sudden twisting motion triggers disc herniation and consequently sciatica.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis: the spinal canal may get narrowed; this is related to aging and is fairly common in people over 60 years. As a result pressure is exerted on the nerve roots, causing sciatica.
- Degenerative disc disease: is a part of the natural process of aging, and sets off the various symptoms of sciatica nerve impingement.
- Muscle pain: inflammation due to muscle strain puts pressure on the nerve root and causes sciatica.
- Infection: infection in the lower back can afflict the nerve root and trigger sciatica-like pain.
Typical Symptoms Of Sciatic Nerve Damage
- Continuous pain in one leg.
- Pain aggravates on sitting.
- Tingling and numbness.
- Weakness and difficulty in moving the leg or the foot.
- Difficulty in standing up or walking.
The pain varies from sporadic and nagging, to steady and debilitating. The symptoms can be rather painful; but, it is rare that permanent sciatic nerve damage will result.
Home Remedies For Sciatic Nerve Damage
- Heat and ice therapy offers temporary relief from sciatic pain. Cold packs help decrease swelling, inflammation and ease the discomfort appreciably. Use ice bags, several times a day, for about 15 minutes. After 2 days, apply heat in order to increase blood circulation in the area.
- Physiotherapy and exercising proffers immense relief as well. Schedule 10 to 12 sessions with a physical therapist; it helps reduce pain and discomfort, improves blood circulation and also enhances the range of movement. Specific exercises ought to be customized to address the underlying cause of sciatica. Hamstring stretches, core muscle fortification and lower back stretches allay pain significantly.
- Changing the sleeping position, relieves stress on the lower back and increases the amount of stretch. Sleep in a curled up, fetal position, with a pillow between the legs.
- Celery juice is a natural anti inflammatory. It helps reduce pain, swelling and inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Have 1 glass of celery juice daily for about a month.
- Another effective home remedy is ginger. Ginger is packed with gingerols, which are potent anti inflammatory agents. Ginger diminishes swelling and inflammation almost instantly and eliminates all pain and discomfort. Grate an inch of ginger and boil in a glass of water. Add honey and consume this decoction twice daily.