What is it?
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve and its branches — from your back down your buttock and leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your spinal cord to your buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg.
Sciatica is a symptom, not a disorder. The radiating pain of Sciatica signals another problem involving the nerve, such as a herniated disk. Depending on the cause, the pain of acute Sciatica — which may be quite uncomfortable — usually goes away on its own within a couple of months.
In the meantime, self-care measures may help you ease Sciatica. Sometimes, your doctor will suggest other treatment.
How do I recognise it?
Sciatica symptoms include:
- Pain. It's especially likely to occur along a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.
- Numbness or muscle weakness along the nerve pathway in your leg or foot. In some cases, you may have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another.
- Tingling or a pins-and-needles feeling, often in your toes or part of your foot.
- A loss of bladder or bowel control. This is a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a rare but serious condition that requires emergency care. If you experience either of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Your Sciatic nerve branches from your spinal cord through your hips and buttocks and down the back of each leg. This nerve controls many of the muscles in your lower legs and provides feeling to your thighs, legs and feet. Sciatica may develop when a nerve root is compressed in your lower (lumbar) spine — often as a result of a herniated disk in your lower back.
How do you treat it?
Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:
- Conventional medicines
- Complementary medicines
- Complementary therapies
For information on medicines and therapies relevant to Sciatica make an appointment at Lynch's Pharmacy Pharmacy, Broadale, Douglas, Cork on 021-4366923.
Learn all about the drugs used to treat the disease and any complementary medicines or therapies proven to help. Equip yourself with the tools to manage the condition and not be managed by it.
How do you live with it?
Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes.
When you come to a Lynch's Pharmacy Clinic, we give you all the necessary information available to make your life more manageable and allow you to better live with your condition.
Sciatica, a comprehensive review http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sciatica/DS00516