sciatica foot - Pain Relief | Do You Know the Causes of Sciatica Nerve Pain?
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Pain Relief | Do You Know the Causes of Sciatica Nerve Pain?

Are you one of the millions of people who experience nerve pain from sciatica? If so, you know how painful this condition can be. Sciatica pain actually refers to the pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve. This pain is typically felt in the buttocks, down the legs, and in upper thighs.


The interesting thing about SNP is that it is not a diagnosis, but a symptom of another problem, usually a compressed nerve. So, if that is the case, what exactly causes SNP?


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 Sciatica is one type of back pain affecting a large number of people these days. It is characterized by pain in the hip and buttock region and sometime includes referred pain down the leg. This can go down one or both legs into the thigh, calf, ankle and foot. Stretching is often prescribed for back pain and sciatica but rarely provides any lasting relief .

How to Treat Sciatica Nerve Pain When you doctor knows what the cause of your sciatica pain is, he or she can better treat it. Most cases of SNP are treated with conservative or non-surgical methods, like over-the-counter medications, rest, or cold and heat therapy.

Many people think of sciatica, symptoms of which include pain down the leg, some numbness and weakness of the limbs as just another case of lower back pain and believe that with sufficient rest, the pain will go away. However, sciatica is a little more serious than that.

Back pain is a major problem these days for people all over the western world. It has been estimated that at any one time 20% of the population suffer from lower back pain and that doesn't take into account all the other forms like sciatica, upper back pain, mid back pain and neck pain. It is a huge interruption in a sufferers day to day life and costs the world billions of dollars in productivity.

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Tip 5: Alternative Methods of Treatment: Other than medication and surgery, many patients suffering from sciatica have tried alternative methods of treatment and have claimed great success with them.

It is important to distinguish between sciatica and piriformis syndrome, because the treatment for the conditions varies, and getting the diagnosis right typically leads to more effective treatment.

The second maneuver is done in two parts. First, from the sitting position one bends the leg and pulls the knee on the painful side towards the same-side shoulder. In all but the most severe cases, there is usually no major increase in pain in this position. The second part of the maneuver is to pull the knee toward the opposite side shoulder. An increase in the sciatica-like symptoms is a strong indication of piriformis syndrome.

As mentioned earlier, the symptoms of true sciatica are very similar to piriformis syndrome. Both cause pain, tingling, burning, "electrical shock" sensations, and/or numbness down the leg, often all the way to the foot. In addition, both sciatica and piriformis syndrome tend to be at least partially related to biomechanical functional problems in the joints of the back and pelvis and they may even be present simultaneously in the same person, so it an be difficult to tell them apart.

Causes The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It runs from your pelvis all the way down to the back of your legs. This nerve provides feelings to your legs, feet and thighs. So, when this nerve is compressed, the pain is likened to an electrical shock. Some of the causes of nerve pain include the following:

A large amount of confusion and misunderstanding exists concerning the conditions sciatica and piriformis syndrome. There are some who insist that the two conditions are actually the same thing, but even though they can have symptoms that are very much alike, the underlying causes differ.

* Herniated Disk. A herniated disk, otherwise known as a bulging disk, is the most common cause of sciatica nerve pain. When a lower lumbar intervertebral disk bulges, it oftentimes compresses one of the nerves roots before it joins the sciatic nerve. This tends to cause radiating pain into the buttocks and back of the thighs or calves. Numbness and burning are also symptoms, as well as pain.

Some natural steps for back pain relief are: Lose Weight - Try to stay slim. If you have excess weight on your upper body, it will overload on your back. Practicing yoga or tai chi are natural ways of back pain treatment that can also assist with weight loss.

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Ray Attebery is President for The Centre for Pain Relief in New York City.

Eat Healthy - Vitamins and minerals are important for your overall health. So, try to eat as much healthy food as possible to help get rid of stress in your body and get relief from back pain.

Massage - Massage a common choice for people trying to get relief from back pain. It also acts as great stress reliever. But if you have acute back pain, do consult a skilled back pain therapist before going for a massage.

* Spinal Stenosis. Sciatica nerve pain can also be cause by the narrowing of the spinal canal due to spinal stenosis. This condition can be caused by aging, trauma, or heredity.

Tip 2: Lifting of Heavy Objects: Try to share the load of very heavy objects with others. If you have to lift something by yourself, hold it close to you and then bend your knees, rather than bending your back.

There are many ways of treating sciatica but there also many ways of preventing sciatica in the first place. We will look at some of the best ways to prevent and treat Sciatica.

For those who experience severe nerve pain and/or incontinence, surgery may be the only option. Almost 80 percent of people suffer from lower back pain, with or without sciatica, so talk to your doctor to learn more about the causes of sciatica, or hop online and check out The Sciatica Clinical website.

For example, chiropractic treatment is one such method in which you are offered non-invasive and medication-free therapies, to treat your sciatica. Chiropractic treatments can involve ultrasounds, TENS, spinal adjustments and cold therapies. Other alternative methods of treatment include acupuncture or acupressure, in which fine needles are stuck at specific points to help relieve pain; yoga, which involve stretching exercises and help a certain kind of sciatica pain and biofeedback, which is said to be a mind-body therapy helping you train your mind and body in controlling your reactions to pain.

 
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There are various back pain relief measures both natural and pharmaceutical available. Chronic and severe back pain may require temporary medication to allow the acute back pain to settle. However if you take a natural healing approach along with the medication, you should get a better longer lasting result.

Tip 1: Posture, Posture, Posture: Maintaining a good posture while standing and sitting go a long way to avoid damage to the spine. Also one should avoid sitting or standing for very long periods.

Piriformis syndrome, also known as "pseudo-sciatica" (meaning "false sciatica"), is actually referral pain and other symptoms (tingling, numbness, etc.) caused by tightness and knots of contraction in the piriformis muscle, which runs from the upper femur bone to the edge of the sacrum, the triangular pelvic bone that is below the lumbar spine. The symptoms of piriformis syndrome are very similar and may be indistinguishable from true sciatica.

Very rarely, though, sciatica pain can be extremely severe and debilitating for patients who are recommended surgery. New surgical techniques like microsurgery and percutaneous removals allow patients to undergo these procedures and come out of the hospital much faster than ever before, decreasing the loss of work time.

Tip 3: Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise will not only help you in your general fitness but also in the fitness of your lower back. Abdominal crunches are very helpful in strengthening your lower back. Swimming or Walking can also help with the lower back.

Two simple maneuvers will distinguish sciatica from piriformis syndrome in the majority of cases (when the problem is one versus the other and not both conditions at the same time). First, in a seated position, if one straightens the leg on the painful side (so that the leg is parallel to the floor), and the sciatica symptoms increase, this is usually a sign of true sciatic nerve irritation.

Sciatica refers to irritation of the sciatic (often mis-spelled as syatic or psyatic) nerve, that arises from nerve roots in the lumbar spine. The most common cause of sciatic nerve irritation, or "true" sciatica is compression of one or more of its component nerve roots due to disc herniation or spinal degeneration in the lower lumbar region. Sciatica usually begins in the buttock area and, depending on the severity of the underlying nerve comression and inflammation, may extend down the entire leg to the ankle and foot.

* Degenerative Disc Disease. Degenerative Disc Disease may also be a cause of sciatica pain. This condition irritates the nerve root. * Piriformis Syndrome. Although not as common as a herniated disk, Piriformis syndrome can also be a cause of sciatica nerve pain. Runners, cyclists, or people who stand with their toes outward tend to develop this syndrome.

There are certain other techniques like yoga, exercise, massage acupuncture and chiropractic that prove to be effective back pain treatments for some sufferers. Others prefer to take medication prescribed by their doctor to lessen the irritation of back pain but they are not good for health. Adopting the natural approach to get back pain relief is therefore considered to be the most sensible approach to take if you can find someone skilled enough to do the job.

In some cases, piriformis syndrome may cause true sciatic nerve irritation, as the sciatic nerve may run underneath or even through the middle of the piriformis, so contraction of the piriformis may produce sufficient compression of the sciatic nerve to produce actual nerve symptoms. This is one of the main sources of confusion when it comes to distinguishing true sciatica from piriformis syndrome.

Tip 4: Medication and Physical Therapy: If you are suffering from lower back and leg pain, you could start off with simple painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. If the pain is severe, affecting your day-to-day activities and simple painkillers do not work, you could have an anti-inflammatory medication prescribed for you. At times, these too are not enough and your doctor may suggest an epidural injection. In this, the medication is injected into the spine, which directs it to the areas of the sciatic nerve roots, soothing them and relieving the pain.

Back pain is caused by numerous reasons, primarily muscle imbalances from injury, diet, obesity, posture, exercise and more. Back pain treatments vary depending on the diagnosis of your pain and can vary from a passive mobilization, to drugs all the way to surgery .

But since the most effective treatment for the two conditions varies signficantly, it is important to determine the correct diagnosis if at all possible. In most cases there is an easy way to distinguish between sciatica and piriformis syndrome.

Occasionally, the sciatic nerve roots - which start at the base of the spine and stretch all the way to the feet through the buttock and legs - get compressed or irritated causing pain not only in the lower back but also in the buttocks, thighs, legs, extending even to the feet.

Sciatica pain can be eliminated from your life there are numerous treatments for it, you will need to experiment to find out the best treatment or treatments for you particular condition.

About the Author:

Dr. George Best is in private practice in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, check out Dr. Best's free e-book and online video course to assist in understanding and treating sciatica and piriformis syndrome, including in-depth instruction on sciatica exercises at http://www.SciaticaSelfCare.com .

Almost all these treatments are accompanied or followed by physical therapy, under a physician's supervision or on his prescribed course. This kind of physical therapy concentrates on building the muscles around the sciatica nerve roots so as to strengthen the lower back.

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