What you need to know about sciatica

Many adults in America suffer from pain and disability due to sciatica. Sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy is a condition that is characterized by chronic pain in the back and leg. Patients often don’t know a lot of the facts about the condition, so in this article we explore what you need to know about sciatica.

Understanding Sciatica
In order to understand sciatica, we first need to take a look at the sciatic nerve, where it is located, and its role in the body. The sciatic nerve is located at the back of the leg. It is the largest spinal nerve in the body, as it extends from the lower back, through the pelvis, and down the legs and feet. Its major role is to supply strength and sensation to the legs.

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated by disorders of the lower back that put pressure on the lumbar nerve root.Sciatica is a symptom of a serious underlying condition that needs to be corrected.

Causes
Sciatica may be caused by several factors including the inflammation from a disc herniation, disc degeneration, and lumbar spinal stenosis (compression of the nerves in the lower back).

Symptoms
Pain in the lower back is one of the most common symptoms of sciatica. Other symptoms include leg pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling.

Treatment
In order to treat sciatica effectively, the source of the pain must first be identified. However, because the sciatic nerve is so long, the pain source will not be the same in every case.

There are several treatment options including physical therapy, spinal adjustments, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

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