All You Need To Know About Sciatica!
Sciatica is also referred to as lumbar radiculopathy and is a pain that originates from the sciatic nerve. The nerve extends from the back of the pelvis down the back of your thigh. The sciatic nerve is the main nerve in the leg and the largest nerve in the entire human body.
Ancient Greeks knew about sciatic neuralgia and used the term ‘sciatica’ to describe the pain felt around the thigh or hip. Hippocrates himself referred to ‘ischiatic’ pain that affected men between 40 and 60 years.
Domenico Cotugno, an Italian anatomist, wrote the first book on sciatica in 1764 and it was referred to as Cotugno’s disease for many years. Cotugno was the first person to distinguish sciatica caused by nervous disease from aching pain that’s typically associated with low back pain.
By the 19th Century, sciatica was believed to be the result of various rheumatic conditions that caused the sciatic nerve to be inflamed. In the early 20th century was when the intervertebral disc: initially implicated as a causative factor in sciatica.
Mixer and Barr then later revisited the idea that prolapsed disc material causing pain, which led to the landmark paper published in 1934 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The prolapsed intervertebral disc linked to the pathogenesis of sciatica since then.
Sciatica is a common symptom off several different medical conditions, but it estimated that 90 percent of cases are due to a slipped disc. A slipped disc occurs if a disk in the spinal column gets pushed out of place, which ends up putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Other causes of sciatica include:
- Spondylolisthesis: It is a condition where a disk in the spinal column slips forward over the vertebra below it.
- A pinched nerve root: Where the Vertebrae puts pressure on the nerve root as it exits the spine.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis: It refers to the narrowing of the spinal cord in the lower back
- Cauda equina syndrome: It is a rare but severe condition that affects nerves in the lower part of the spinal cord, which requires immediate medical attention
- Injuries within the spine
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Disc Degeneration
- Disc Protrusion
- Rotated or Subluxated Lumbar Vertebrae
It is important to note that in most cases of sciatica, there’s never a single apparent cause, which is why you need to see a competent health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.
What is the Treatment for Sciatica?
Sciatica usually heals on its own with rest and time. Still, treatment might be necessary to help relieve the pain. The treatment options currently available include:
- Chiropractic therapy
- Osteopathic manipulation
- Applying heat or cold packs to sore muscles
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
Chiropractic therapy is the best treatment for sciatica of all the treatment options currently available. It aims at improving the alignment of the spine. The technique can help address the underlying conditions that cause sciatic nerve pain, such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, pinched nerves, or Vertebrae that are suck and out of place. Manual manipulation also helps create a better healing environment.
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