treating sciatic nerve - Demystifying Sciatica
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Demystifying Sciatica

What is sciatica? Sciatica is the official name given to a pain in the leg, foot, or buttock, brought on by a form of irritation to the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the entire body.


Proper stretching and exercising, combined with over-the-counter pain medications can assist on the road to recovery. If your pain is not relieved by the milder pain medications, your doctor may prescribe a naroctic analgesic. However be advised that these medications can cause nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness, and may result in dependency if taken over long periods of time. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove fragment of the disc.


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 Back pain is caused by numerous reasons, primarily muscle imbalances from injury, diet, obesity, posture, exercise and more. Back pain treatments vary depending on the diagnosis of your pain and can vary from a passive mobilization, to drugs all the way to surgery .

Sciatica refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This condition is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain. The term "sciatica" indicates that the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the buttocks and into the leg, is thought to be the cause of the pain in this condition. True sciatica is a condition that occurs when a herniated lumbar disc compresses one of the contributing roots of the sciatic nerve. This type of low back pain is less common than other causes and conditions that produce back pain.

There are various back pain relief measures both natural and pharmaceutical available. Chronic and severe back pain may require temporary medication to allow the acute back pain to settle. However if you take a natural healing approach along with the medication, you should get a better longer lasting result.

Back pain is a major problem these days for people all over the western world. It has been estimated that at any one time 20% of the population suffer from lower back pain and that doesn't take into account all the other forms like sciatica, upper back pain, mid back pain and neck pain. It is a huge interruption in a sufferers day to day life and costs the world billions of dollars in productivity.

Who Can Get Spinal Stenosis? Although some people are born with spinal stenosis, the condition is usually seen in people over the age of 50 who already have some disc degeneration. Often, spinal stenosis results from the wearing down on the spine from normal activities. As we get older, our spinal ligaments can calcify, bone spurs may form, and we can get herniated or ruptured discs. All these conditions can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal which can compress and pinch the spinal nerves.

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Treating Spinal Stenosis In general doctors tend to take a conservative approach when initially treating spinal stenosis. Drug therapy such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling are usually prescribed first, along with bed rest and reduced physical activity. Steroid injections can also be use to help reduce swelling although the pain relief is normally temporary. Traction and spinal decompression may be prescribed, along with physical therapy which can be used to help increase flexibility as well as build endurance.

Laminotomy. This is a partial removal of the lamina which can be done to widen the spinal canal and relieve compression on the nerve roots. Foraminotomy. Removal of bone, scar tissue, or other obstructions that are compressing the nerve root exiting the spinal canal.

Amanda Baker writes for http://tobeinformed.com

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It is important to stay active. Do exercises that develop muscles in your back and stomach. This helps to stablilize your spine. It is also important to maintain a reasonable body weight. Ensure that you practice good posture, and sleep on a mattress that is neither too hard or too soft. You should always discuss health matters with your physician, especially if you suffer progressive weakness, as this may constitute a medical emergency. The problem thought to be something easily treated may be a serious condition caused by the compression of the nerve roots in the lower end ofthe spinal canal, which requires immediate medical attention.

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms Symptoms of spinal stenosis can include back pain radiating to the legs, numbness or pain in the buttocks that worsen when walking or exercising, leg weakness, decreased physical endurance, loss of balance, and leg and neck pain.

Causes The sciatic nerve is commonly injured by fractures of the pelvis, gunshot wounds, or other trauma to the buttocks or thigh. Prolonged sitting or lying with pressure on the buttocks may also injure it. Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, can typically damage many different nerves, including the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve may also be harmed by pressure from masses such as a tumor or abscess, or by bleeding in the pelvis.

Symptoms The most common symptom of sciatica mimics the pain of a severe leg cramp. Depending on where damage to the nerve occurs, pain may be accompanied by numbness or tingling, a burning sensation or general weakness in the leg.

Symptoms can vary from extreme pain in the low back radiating into one buttock and down the leg. Pain often increases on exertion or bending forward. Alternatively, there may only be a mild sensation in the leg or buttock. There may be numbness in the area, weakness in the leg and diminution of the reflexes. Pain may be triggered by coughing or straining and can be so severe that the lower back becomes locked in sideways bending position (scoliosis) caused by a strong contraction.

Sciatica is one type of back pain affecting a large number of people these days. It is characterized by pain in the hip and buttock region and sometime includes referred pain down the leg. This can go down one or both legs into the thigh, calf, ankle and foot. Stretching is often prescribed for back pain and sciatica but rarely provides any lasting relief .

 
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Due to the risks involved, many doctors will resort to surgical treatments only after non-surgical treatments have been tried first. This article is not meant to replace the sound advice of a personal physician. Patients should discuss with their doctor all their treatment options before taking any medical course of action.

Some natural steps for back pain relief are: Lose Weight - Try to stay slim. If you have excess weight on your upper body, it will overload on your back. Practicing yoga or tai chi are natural ways of back pain treatment that can also assist with weight loss.

Sciatic pain usually starts in the buttocks and extends down the rear of the thigh and lower leg to the sole of the foot and along the outer side of the lower leg to the top of the foot. Pain may also be present in the lower back.

Sciatica refers to pain along the path of the sciatica nerve. It is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Fortunately, most cases of sciatica are not serious and usually resolve within six weeks. The sciatic nerve branches off nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord - it's two branches run from the lower back through the each side of the pelvis, buttocks, back of leg to the foot.

Massage - Massage a common choice for people trying to get relief from back pain. It also acts as great stress reliever. But if you have acute back pain, do consult a skilled back pain therapist before going for a massage.

Decompressive laminectomy. This is used for treating lumbar spinal stenosis and involves removing the top of the vertebra to create more space for the nerves.

Sciatica is most commonly caused by a slipped disc in the lower back, some form of arthritis, or a pinched nerve. It begins with back pain, followed by calf or hamstring pain, and sometimes included numbness in the toes. Forms of sciatica, resulting from inflammation get better with time, healing themselves. However, bed rest is not the best way to treat sciatica. It is shown that remaining active and performing exercises that are not weight bearing can help. Given time, even herniated spinal discs can heal.

Commonly the major cause can be pinned as disc herniation in the lumbar spine which presses directly on the sciatic nerve and any triggers by such a reaction for example by irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone which in turn produces the symptoms of sciatica. Besides a compressed or a pinched nerve, other causes could also be tumors, muscle, internal bleeding, infections, injury etc. thus sciatica is not really a disease by itself but rather many other dependants make it into a medical condition worthy of attention

Treatment for sciatica is varied. It is only possible to find out what treatment is best for you by going to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may order an MRI to conclude the exact cause of sciatic pain, although many physicians can determine the cause through physical examination alone.

Eat Healthy - Vitamins and minerals are important for your overall health. So, try to eat as much healthy food as possible to help get rid of stress in your body and get relief from back pain.

If the pain is acute, then surgery may be needed in order to widen the spinal canal and to correct the conditions that are contributing to the nerve compression. Some of the surgical procedures used to treat spinal stenosis are:

What is Spinal Stenosis? Spinal stenosis is a medical condition where the spinal canal becomes narrow. This narrowing can put additional pressure and compression on the spinal cord and can cause a pinching of the nerve roots. If the narrowing is in the lower part of spinal cord it is referred to as lumbar spinal stenosis and if the narrowing is in the upper part of the spinal cord then it is referred to as cervical spinal stenosis. While stenosis can also occur in the thoracic or upper back region, the lumbar and cervical areas are the most common.

There are certain other techniques like yoga, exercise, massage acupuncture and chiropractic that prove to be effective back pain treatments for some sufferers. Others prefer to take medication prescribed by their doctor to lessen the irritation of back pain but they are not good for health. Adopting the natural approach to get back pain relief is therefore considered to be the most sensible approach to take if you can find someone skilled enough to do the job.

About the Author:

For more information on spinal stenosis treatments and alternatives to back pain surgery see DRX9000 spinal stenosis treatment at http://www.drx9000-spinal-decompression.com, a popular site with free information on DRX9000 spinal decompression and other back pain treatments.


Julian P. Porter

 
 
     
 
 





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