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3 Things You Need to Be Aware Of About Sciatica

06 June 2023

Sciatica is a type of nerve pain that can be excruciating. It's caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower back. However, it extends from the lower back down the buttocks, leg, and all the way down to your calf area. So, the pain covers a large area and it could be accompanied by numbness and weakness.

This is a very painful condition that's also pretty common. This is why it's important to learn as much as possible about it and know what to expect if you have it, how to prevent the condition, and the different ways of treating it.

In this article, we're going to talk about three key things you need to know about sciatica. That way, you can do everything you can to prevent the condition and plan out a proper course of action in case you develop it or are already suffering from it.


About The Pain





Sciatica is a pain that you've likely never felt before. Many people who have had the condition say that there's nothing else like it and often describe it as a “crescendo of agony”. The thing about sciatica is that it starts at the lower back, but it radiates all the way down to your lower leg. Most patients report that the pain is similar to a searing sensation, like being poked in the area by a red-hot prod.

Another thing to know about sciatica pain is that it sometimes starts slowly. At the start, it may feel like a slight, dull ache. However, as time goes on, the pain becomes sharper and much more intense. Eventually, it will reach an excruciating level, to a point when it starts impairing even the simplest of movements. So, if you develop sciatica, you can expect the condition to reach a point where walking or moving around becomes hard.

On top of that, the sciatica pain is known for being relentless. There are many patients that report that the pain is just constant and never stops. In some cases, sciatica can make everything from standing to sitting incredibly uncomfortable and close to impossible. This is why sciatica doesn't just cause an inconvenience, but it can have a major effect on a person’s mood and general well-being.


What Causes It


One very important thing to know about sciatica is that it's a broad term that describes the pain that is caused by various symptoms. Sciatica itself is not a medical diagnosis, which is something many people get wrong. So, there are various underlying medical conditions that may result in sciatica, which include:

● General degenerative changes in vertebrae or discs

● Lumbar spinal stenosis

● Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

● Muscle spasms

● Lumbar inflammation

● A herniated disk

● Spondylolisthesis

Additionally, tumors, blood clots, and similar conditions may cause sciatica. However, it's important to note that these cases are pretty rare and aren't the norm.

Another thing to note is that certain habits and practices may also result in sciatica. For example, having constant bad posture puts you at a higher risk of developing the pain. In fact, even sitting down for a long time can cause it, as seated positions put a lot of pressure on your lower back.


How You Can Prevent It


Sciatica is incredibly painful and can prevent you from living a normal life. This is because the pain is so intense that you may not be able to move or go through your daily routine. Many people with sciatica report having to rest the whole day and find ways to reduce the pain whenever it occurs. This is why you should make an effort to reduce your chances of developing sciatica and lower the risks.

Luckily, there are quite a few best practices you can follow if you want to prevent sciatica. We’ll go through a few of them in this section so you can start lowering your risk of developing it.

To start, you can practice good posture when sitting and standing. When you have bad posture, you put a lot of unnecessary stress and strain on your lower back. The less strain and stress you have on your lower back, the lower your chances of sciatica.

This is why we also recommend replacing your current chair with an office chair that is designed for comfort and proper posture. And if you feel like spending a bit more money on getting a quality chair, it's worth exploring the idea of an ergonomic chair, which is more flexible and can adjust to your specific needs.

Other things you can do to lower the risks of sciatica are losing weight, exercising regularly to strengthen your back, and stretching to release pressure and reduce the chances of strains and spasms.


Bonus: How Do You Treat Sciatica?


Since sciatica isn't a medical diagnosis, reducing the pain is more a matter of treating the underlying medical condition. Some of the ways you can reduce sciatica pain at home include a cold compress on the affected area, hot packs, and physical therapy.


Conclusion


Sciatica is very painful and can have a major impact on your life. When it comes to treating, addressing, and preventing sciatica, knowledge is power. So, if you're at risk of developing it or are already suffering from it, it's best to learn as much as possible about the condition and either prevent it or take the necessary action to manage and minimise its impact on your daily life.