Sciatica is a pain that begins in the lower back and extends through the buttock and into the lower leg and foot. It occurs when a nerve or nerve root is pinched or compressed in the lower back, causing the sensation of pain, weakness and numbness into the leg.
The most frequent cause of sciatica symptoms is lumbar disc herniation. It is a condition where the outer layers of the spinal disk are damaged by a repeated mechanical stress and it allows the inner substance to protrude out of its enclosed space.
Lumbar disc herniation usually occurs at the weakest point of the disc, where the nerve root lives from the spinal canal. The disc, when herniates it directly touches the nerve root and activate it, causing the feeling of pain and numbness in the leg.
THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS OF TREATING SCIATICA:
1. Heat/Ice Therapy
This is a treatment where you use ice packs or heat packs that may reduce pain and inflammation. Heat helps to relax muscles while ice helps to decrease inflammation and swelling.
2. McKenzie Exercises
McKenzie exercises are prescribed by physiotherapists and chiropractors and are effective in reducing leg pain, centralizing it into the lower back.
3. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
Acupuncture is based on the use of small needles that are inserted in the skin and muscles at specific points. These needles cause so called micro-trauma to the muscles causing release of hormones- endorphins. These hormones help to calm nerves and reduce symptoms of pain.