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Sciatic pain explained

Sciatica, everyone has probably heard of it but do you know what it really is? Most might say that it’s a pain you get in your leg but do you know where it comes from? What confuses a lot of people and even doctors is that sciatica is not a diagnosis… I repeat that sciatica is NOT a diagnosis!

In fact there are at least 10 reasons as to why you can get sciatica. If you go to your doctor and they give you that diagnosis and hand you a pill, perhaps they should think again. Sciatica by definition is pain experienced in the distribution of the sciatic nerve, the sciatic nerve consists of 5 nerves exiting your lower lumber (back) area and exiting your sacrum (pelvic area), these nerves join as one and this is called the sciatic nerve. This runs down the back of your leg to your ankle, this can also affect the sole of your foot. The sciatic nerve feels sensations and allows you to move the muscles in your leg. Sciatica is a symptom rather then the cause.

Here is a list of the 10 causes of sciatica pain:

  1. Sacroiliitis – an inflammatory process within the sacroiliac joint (pelvis) can be due to infection, sprain of the joint (misalignment), or an arthritic condition.

  2. Iliolumber Syndrome – inflammation or sprain of the iliolumber ligament, a big ligament that runs across the top of your pelvis used for bending and twisting.

  3. Quadratus Lumborum Syndrome – heard of the QL muscle, this is a muscle in your lower back; it can get tight and painful and refer pain down your leg.

  4. Trochanteric Bursitis – the bursa at the upper side of your leg is inflamed.

  5. Ischialgluteal Bursitis – inflammation of the bursa in your buttock, when you sit it is aggravated.

  6. Posterior Facet Syndrome – facet joints are a part of your vertebra, they can be misaligned or degenerated.

  7. Meralgia Paraesthetica – a nerve entrapped that passes through your hip flexor muscle within your pelvic area, can be due to pregnancy, tumours and infection.

  8. Disc Herniation – also known as a prolapsed disc or bulging disc these days, when you injure a disc in your lower back due to strain or misalignment.

  9. Lateral Canal Stenosis Syndrome – degeneration or arthritis where the nerve passes through the spine causing symptoms.

  10. Myofascial Syndromes – when muscles are tight around the lower back and pelvic area they can cause referring pain.

You can have one of these conditions occurring, or you can have 3-4 occurring at the one time. It is important to receive the correct diagnosis and primary cause for your condition in order to achieve a healthy recovery. Sciatica occurs when the function of the nerve is affected, weakness, numbness or pins and needles can be present in the legs with or without lower back pain. Certain treatments are affective with sciatica, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. What is also important is giving your body the nutrients it needs for tight muscles, inflammation and arthritic conditions, these include:

  • Calcium and magnesium, a good mineral supplement with calcium and magnesium restores the balance back in your muscles and relaxes them, also prevents cramping.

  • Fatty acids, a good fat supplement such as flax seed oil or a fish oil supplement is good for your joints and bones helping arthritis and joint problems

  • Glucoseamine has been shown to help with arthritic conditions I also use it in my clinic to get stability within the ligaments and joints.

Lifestyle changes such as stretching and exercises are necessary to help the condition and to prevent reoccurrence. Its important to have the problem professionally diagnosed, take supplements to support the condition and make changes in your lifestyle.

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