Back back pain is the third frequent reason for visits to the doctor within the United States, and about 40 percent of Americans are affected by a form of lower back discomfort known as sciatica at sometime in their lives. If you’re suffering from pain that begins at the lower back and extends to the buttocks and hips to the back of your leg, it could be sciatica.

What exactly is sciatica?

Sciatica refers to any discomfort on the sciatic nerve which is both the longest as well as most dense nerve in the human body. It’s comprised of 5 nerve roots that originate from the gluteal area and join together to create the sciatic nerve across the entire length of the body. The right and left sciatic nerves pass through the hips, and then down each leg until the knee.

What is the cause of sciatica?

There are numerous reasons that cause sciatica however the most frequent reason is a herniated disc which is also known as a slip disk. Herniation is a problem in the discs that cushion vertebrae of your spine. When a herniation happens it is when the pressure of the vertebrae causes the disc to expand and press against the sciatic nerve. While herniated disks can occur at any time but it is more likely to happen at a later age, around 35.

“As you get older the disks inside your vertebrae begin to become less flexible and more susceptible to breaking or breaking if you take slight strains or twists,” said Ghassan Bejjani, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery at Penn Highlands Healthcare, who is a specialist in the field of neurological conditions.

Another cause of sciatica can be spinal stenosis. This is the slow narrowing of the spinal column. As the spine starts to shrink vertebrae press against the spinal nerve and can cause stress onto the sciatic nerve which can cause discomfort and numbness in one leg. Sciatica is a sign of spinal stenosis, however not everyone with spinal stenosis suffer from sciatica.

Also, pregnancy causes a type that causes spinal compression that may affect nerves like the sciatic nerve.

“When you’re pregnant and your body releases hormones that relaxes your ligaments , and also widens the cervix” explained the doctor. Bejjani. “The stretched ligaments as well as the extra weight could increase the risk of suffering from a herniated disk which could irritate your sciatic nerve. In addition, when the uterus expands it may squeeze it against the sciatic nerve in the pelvis.”

Sciatica can be experienced at any time during pregnancy, but the 3rd trimester is usually the most frequent period when pregnant women experience it.

What is the signs that are indicative of sciatica?

The most common symptoms are on the lower back, hips the lower back and legs, as well as the feet. For some suffering is caused by sciatica may be intense and even disabling. For others, it could be mild and annoying however, it is likely to become more severe. Common signs include:

  • Lower back discomfort.
  • The pain in the rear of the leg is most severe during sitting.
  • Hip discomfort.
  • Tingling or burning.
  • A numbness, weakness, or difficulty moving the foot or leg.
  • Incessant pain on one side the buttocks.
  • The pain of shooting makes it difficult to stand.

If you are consistently experiencing one of the symptoms listed above, make appointments with your physician immediately.

What can sciatica addressed?

Fortunately, the majority of cases of sciatica disappear over time by applying hot and ice packs as well as taking medications over-the-counter and stretching gently.

Because sciatic pain affects all differently, self-care treatments may not be enough. If after six weeks of self-care remedies are not working, you should consult your physician. He may suggest alternative treatment options such as physical therapy, injections of steroids or surgery.

“Most instances of sciatica don’t require surgery. In fact, 90% of cases can be resolved without surgery” explained Doctor. Bejjani. “Time and home remedies are often all that’s needed. If your pain is persistent for more than four or eight weeks, make certain to speak to your physician. There are also situations where immediate attention is required. It’s when there’s”red signals’, such as losing bladder and bowel control as well as weak legs and saddle anesthesia, along with discomfort at night, fever and sweats, among other signs. These signs may indicate the presence of a more serious and urgent health issue that needs immediate treatment.”

If you are suffering from lower back discomfort, Penn Highlands Healthcare offers professional care at your home. The spine specialists will evaluate your back discomfort, conduct imaging tests and offer non-surgical treatments without having to travel far. For more information, visit

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