Many people suffer from chronic pain due to issues with the nervous system. However, what they may not know is that their pain could be connected to a specific nerve: the sciatic nerve.
Problems with the sciatic nerve can cause pain in many different parts of the body and can make carrying out daily tasks quite tough. If you’re interested in learning just what is the sciatic nerve and what its significance is, this guide is for you. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
What Is the Sciatic Nerve?
The sciatic nerve is actually the longest nerve in the human body. The location of the sciatic nerve is a bit complex because the nerve begins in the lower back and runs down through the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet along both sides of the body.
Narrowing of the spine and bone spurs both put pressure on the sciatic nerve. When the nerve is under pressure, pain can begin to form and can travel the whole way down the nerve, affecting the entire lower half of your body.
People who suffer from sciatic nerve pain are said to struggle with sciatica. Sciatica can be quite painful, and often appears as a radiating pain stemming from the lower back and traveling down the legs.
What Are the Risk Factors for Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Several factors can put you at greater risk for developing sciatic nerve pain. A few of these factors include:
- A current or previous back injury
- Being overweight
- Weak core muscles
- Regular heavy lifting on the job
- Poor posture while weight lifting
- An inactive lifestyle
- Tobacco use
If you fall into any of these categories, you could be at risk of developing sciatic pain. It’s important to monitor how you feel and to keep an eye on your body in order to prevent yourself from developing sciatica.
How Can I Treat Sciatica?
Suffering from sciatica, while painful, doesn’t have to be permanent. There are several treatment options that you can use to help you overcome your pain and start feeling better, including:
- Applying ice or a heating pad
- Taking OTC pain killers and anti-inflammatories
- Performing gentle stretching exercises
- Taking prescription medications
- Enrolling in physical therapy
- Getting spinal injections
- Trying chiropractic care
- Doing yoga
- Getting acupuncture
- Getting a microdiscectomy
- Getting a laminectomy
To make sure you get ta treatment that works for you, you’ll need to speak with a licensed medical professional. He or she will be better able to diagnose your issue and recommend the right pain-relieving treatment.
Stay Healthy and Avoid Sciatic Nerve Pain
With all your questions about just what is the sciatic nerve answered, you’re now better prepared to stay healthy and avoid this type of pain. With the proper care, you can prevent yourself from developing sciatic pain and can stay in great physical condition.
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