Suffering from Sciatica? Here’s how a physiotherapy can help.
Your legs do a lot of important work for you, getting you from place to place every day. Because they are so important, there is an extensive network of nerves throughout your leg tissue to keep your brain informed of what is going on in the lower parts of your body. Along the backs of your legs are your sciatic nerves, which extend from your lower spinal cord through your buttocks and down through the backs of your thighs, your calves, and on into your ankles and feet. When the roots of these nerves become irritated, you may experience a painful condition known as sciatica.
What Are The Symptoms?
The most common symptom of sciatica is pain. This pain usually begins in your lower back, where your sciatic nerve begins, and radiates downwards through the back of your leg. This pain can radiate as far as your feet, and can make it very difficult to walk, stand, or sit comfortably. Some people also experience tingling or numbness as a result of the irritation of the sciatic nerve. Weakness is also a common symptom as your body tries to protect the affected area by limiting your range of motion. A doctor can usually diagnose sciatica with a simple physical examination, as well as some questions about your medical history.
What is the Cause of Sciatica?
Sciatica is felt when the root of your sciatic nerve becomes irritated. The most common culprits for this irritation are herniated discs in the spine, which occur when the discs that separate your spinal bones become swollen. However, sciatica can also have a number of other causes. Narrowing of the spinal canal can irritate the sciatic nerve. Bone spurs can grow into the base of the nerve. Irritation of the surrounding tissues can cause trapped or compressed nerves in the spine, leading to sciatica. Sometimes sciatica is related to tumors, or even pressure caused by pregnancy.
How Is Sciatica Treated?
The simplest and most common treatment for sciatica is to avoid sitting. Although it can be difficult to walk with an irritated sciatic nerve, gentle exercise can help to relieve the pressure on your nerves and allow them to heal. Your doctor may recommend you take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help manage pain and decrease the swelling in the tissue around your nerves. Some patients have had success with heating pads and warm showers, sometimes alternated with cold packs applied to the lower back. Remember that lying down or standing is always better than sitting when you are experiencing sciatica.
Get Treatment Immediately
When you are experiencing sciatica, as with any type of nerve pain, make sure to get treatment immediately. If the cause is a trapped or compressed nerve, the damage can be severe and long-lasting if left untreated. Make certain that you follow any instructions that the doctor gives you, including going for walks. Take medication as directed, and try to avoid aggravating the area by sitting for extended periods of time. Consult a physiotherapist in Mississauga today if the problem persists. This can help to get you moving at your usual pace in a shorter span of time.