Living with sciatica
Everyone knows a person who has problems with sciatica. Maybe you yourself suffer from the stinging pain in the lower back area. Then the everyday life is no longer as usual implement. Almost every movement causes discomfort. Even simple household tasks such as cleaning, shopping or washing windows become a torment.
But what causes the strong pain in your body and what helps you in this situation?? Are there preventive measures to prevent sciatic pain?
What is sciatic pain?
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body. It is connected to the complex nervous system of the spinal cord. This is also the reason why the sciatic nerve can cause such severe pain. The causes of sciatic pain are damage to the affected nerve or nerve root, which can be caused by entrapment, for example by a herniated disc, or by inflammation.
Typical complaints are severe back pain that can radiate into the legs. Coughing or pressing makes the pain worse. Sensory disturbances and even paralysis are among the symptoms of sciatica. If you suffer from lumbago at the same time, it is a so-called lumbo-ischialgia.
How sciatic pain develops?
The discomfort can occur suddenly and surprisingly. The causes of sciatic pain are different. Muscular tension, blockages of the vertebral bodies or a bulging of the intervertebral discs or. a herniated disc can trigger the severe pain.
The most common cause is a degenerative change in the two lower intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine. A herniated disc can pinch the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the leg in addition to the back pain.
In this form, sensory disturbances and paralysis also occur. More rarely, the discomfort is caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve. This can occur, for example, in the course of an illness with shingles. Narrowing of the vertebral bodies due to tumors is also possible.
What to do about sciatic pain?
It is important to treat the pain first. There is also the possibility of administering cortisone injections into the back. However, this is a complex treatment that must be carried out under imaging procedures such as a CT scan. In the acute phase, you should take it easy and apply heat to the affected area. In the longer term, however, a protective posture is not a solution.
In everyday life you should move enough and strengthen your back muscles to prevent the pain. If the sciatic pain occurs repeatedly, a back school can be helpful. There you will learn how to move in a back-friendly way in everyday life and how to strengthen the muscles in your back.
In the case of severe, recurring herniated discs, surgery may be advisable, but this should be well considered.
Here you can find more information and a series of simple and relaxing exercises against sciatica pain.
First, however, these little tips for everyday life will help to protect the sciatic nerve:
- Lift heavy objects not from the back but from the knees,
- Avoid incorrect posture, especially when sitting,
- regular exercise, with building up of the back muscles.
Can sciatic pain disappear on its own?
The course of sciatic pain is usually good. Many patients report a significant improvement after a few days of rest. After six weeks at the latest, most of the symptoms have disappeared in sufferers. This is what is called spontaneous healing.
If the sciatic nerve is pinched due to a herniated disc, the symptoms can also improve without treatment. For the further course, however, it is also important how you behave in everyday life. With the above tips you can significantly shorten the pain interval.
Whether your sciatica has a good prognosis depends on what the underlying cause is. The extent of the herniated disc and the severity of the damage to the sciatic nerve play a role here.