If you are a sciatica patient, you may probably know about the sciatic nerve. Why? Because the medical condition called sciatica is caused by damage to this nerve. If you don’t, the sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the human body.
It originates in the lower back, specifically in the lumbar spine, and runs down through the back of each leg, extending to the feet. The sciatic nerve controls the muscles in the legs and provides sensation to the skin of the legs and feet.
how does the nerve neck cause this medical condition, or what is sciatica actually?
Well, sciatica is a pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back down the legs and into the feet. The condition is typically caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which can result from a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or other underlying health conditions.
Symptoms of sciatica can include lower back pain, burning or tingling sensations in the legs and feet, and muscle weakness. Treatment options may include physical therapy, pain medication, hot/cold therapy, and in severe cases, surgery.
It usually heals after 4 to 6 weeks and can cause moderate to severe discomfort as well as weakness in your legs, buttocks, and lower back. However, it can last longer for some people. And that is what we are trying to examine in this article.
So, why is it so? Why isn’t the pain going away? Let’s find out.
To be honest, finding the exact reason or root cause is not as easy as it sounds. It is often considered a complex medical condition because it can have multiple underlying causes, and the severity and duration of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Are you thinking about why is my Sciatica not going away, then here is the actual reason
reasons why your sciatica is not going away
Sciatica can also be difficult to diagnose accurately, as the symptoms of sciatica can be similar to those of other lower back and leg pain conditions. Keeping in mind these facts, take note of possible reasons why your sciatica is not going away.
Underlying health condition Sciatica may be caused by an underlying health condition, such as a herniated disk, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease, which may require medical treatment. Spinal tumors and spondylolisthesis can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica.
Improper treatment: If the initial treatment is not effective, sciatica may persist. It is important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. Similarly to that, managing pain is a crucial component of treating sciatica because it might linger if it is not.
Inactivity: Prolonged inactivity or bed rest can make the symptoms of sciatica worse, so it is significant to stay active. Because such long terms of inactivity can cause the muscles to weaken, which can lead to further pain and stiffness. Likewise, it can also cause the discs in the spine to lose their ability to absorb shock, increasing the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Weight gain: It can increase the pressure on the lower back and worsen sciatica symptoms. Excess weight places additional stress on the lower back and can lead to a condition known as lumbar spinal stenosis, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and arrest your pain further.
Lack of physical therapy: Physical therapy can help alleviate sciatica pain, so it is important to follow through with recommended exercises and therapies as instructed by the doctor. So, a lack of physical therapy can prolong the healing process for sciatica and the symptoms of sciatica may not improve, leading to the possibility of even worse conditions.
Spinal mass or tumor: Don’t worry, it’s not a common cause. Although the chances are too low, one must be aware of such a reason. Because, a spinal mass or tumor can develop anywhere along the spine and can compress the spinal cord or nerves, causing pain and other symptoms.
Spinal misalignment: Also known as subluxation, can be a cause of sciatica. When the vertebral bones in the spine are not properly aligned, it can place pressure on the sciatic nerve, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back and legs
What to do if it’s getting worse?
You should see a doctor right away if your sciatica symptoms get worse. Once you consult, your healthcare professional can assess your condition and suggest the best course of action, which may include:
- Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medications can help manage pain.
- Physical therapy: Exercises and stretches can help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve and improve strength and flexibility.
- Hot or cold therapy: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Steroid injections: Corticosteroid injections can reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief from sciatica symptoms.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the underlying cause of sciatica, such as a herniated disk or spinal stenosis.
Exercises to relieve pain
Certain exercises can help to relieve the symptoms of sciatica, reduce inflammation and improve overall mobility. Here are some recommended exercises for sciatica:
- Stretches: Gentle stretches such as the hamstring stretch, piriformis stretch, and calf stretch can help to relieve tension in the muscles and alleviate sciatic pain.
- Strengthening exercises: Strengthening exercises for the lower back, hips, and legs can help to improve stability and reduce the risk of future sciatica episodes. These exercises include pelvic tilts, bird dogs, bridges, and single-leg squats.
- Aerobic exercise: Low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, or walking can help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and improve overall mobility.
- Yoga: Certain yoga poses such as the cat-cow stretch, downward facing dog, and pigeon pose can help to stretch the muscles in the lower back and legs, alleviate pain and improve flexibility.
- McKenzie Extension Exercises: These exercises are specifically designed to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve and reduce symptoms of sciatica.
On the whole, it’s important to consult a doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercise regimen for sciatica. Because, they can assess your individual condition and provide a customized plan that’s safe and effective for you.
In short, these are just temporary fixes or relief measures. So, if the pain becomes severe, it is advisable to see a doctor for further evaluation and treatment. After all, your health is our priority.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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