What do You Need To Know About Sciatica & Its Treatment?
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to define pain along the path of the sciatic nerve that runs from the pelvis through the buttocks and hips down to the back of each leg, ending just below the knee. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve of the body with five roots (two roots from the lower back or lumbar spinal region and three roots from the lowest section of the spine called the sacrum). These five nerve roots together sum up to form a right and left sciatic nerve, ending just below the knee. From here the sciatic nerve branches into other nerves that run down your leg and your foot and toes. Sciatica is a symptom that is suggestive of an underlying cause and pathology. Sciatica pain is experienced on compression, inflammation, pinching, or irritation of one of the five roots giving rise to the sciatic nerve.
What is Sciatic nerve pain?
If you have sciatica, you may experience mild to severe nerve pain anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the hips, buttocks down to your legs, and ends just below your knee. Sciatica can also lead to muscle weakness in your leg and foot, the sensation of tingling pins and needle, and numbness in legs, foot, and toes.
Sciatica pain as described by the patients depends upon the underlying cause. The pain is described as either shooting, sharp, burning, stabbing, or electric-like. The pain can be constant or occasional, and more in your leg as compared to your lower back. The pain usually feels more when you stand or sit for a long time. Sciatica pain is usually associated with numbness, tingling, and weakness in the back of the leg. It typically affects one leg. Sciatica pain often results in a sensation of heaviness in the affected leg. It rarely affects both the legs together.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica Nerve Pain?
Symptoms of sciatica nerve pain mainly include pain, restricted movement, tingling, and numbness of the affected area.
- Pain: Pain is the primary symptom of sciatica. The pain radiates from the lower spine, through your buttock area, and runs down ending just below your knees. The intensity of pain may vary ranging from mild to sharp excruciating pain. Sciatica pain is progressive in nature; thus, it may get worse over a period of time.
- Restricted or loss of movement: The person could experience restricted or loss of movement in the affected area due to excruciating and prolonged nerve compression.
- Tingling and Numbness: Sciatica patients may experience a sensation of needle pricking in the feet or soles of the affected side. Numbness can be experienced anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve up to the foot.
Sciatic symptoms can be easily recognized by the type and intensity of pain. Try visiting a doctor when you get such excruciating nerve related pains in your leg.
Causes of Sciatica
Herniation of the spinal disk is the most common cause of sciatica. Spinal disks are cartilaginous structures that act as shock absorbers and keep the spine flexible. When these spines protrude out or herniate, they cause compression in the nerves that pass from that level of the spine. Sciatica occurs when a nerve root in the spine is compressed.
Other conditions that lead to compression of the sciatic nerve are:
- Lifestyle: If the nature of your job needs sitting for a long time or lifting heavy weight or twisting the back, there are chances you may get sciatica.
- Age: Spinal changes in the disk occur with age, these changes may lead to sciatica.
- Spinal cord Tumors: Spinal tumors cause compression of the spinal cord and the nerve roots. It may also cause symptoms like backache radiating to the feet, loss of bowel, or bladder functioning.
- Spinal canal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis cause narrowing of the spinal canal due to inflammation, bony overgrowths, or dislocation of the vertebrae. This narrowing of the spinal canal may put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves originating from there.
- Trauma: Any trauma or injury to the spine may cause damage to the nerve roots originating in the affected area. This may lead to sciatica.
- Piriformis syndrome: Piriformis muscle is situated directly above the sciatic nerve. If piriformis muscle gets tight or goes into spasm due to injury or sitting for a long time. It may exert pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Dysfunction of Sacroiliac joint: Dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint is caused due to wrong postural habits along with a lack of exercise. This dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint may cause sciatica.
- Pregnancy: The uterus may press upon the sciatic nerve in the later trimester of pregnancy, giving rise to pain.
What to expect from a doctor or Diagnosis of Sciatica?
The physician may ask about your symptoms, medical history, and perform some physical examinations to diagnose sciatica. The doctor may determine your muscle strength while examining you in different positions such as lying, sitting, squatting, walking, raising your leg (one at a time). You may experience aggravation in pain during one or more of the above positions.
To confirm the diagnosis, your physician may advise certain tests like:
- X-ray: It helps to detect the cause of the compression of the nerve root (except herniation).
- MRI: MRI scan helps to detect any damage to spinal discs and ligaments or the presence of tumors if any.
- CT Scan: It helps to locate the herniated disks in the spine.
Treatment Options for Sciatica
Conventional Treatment for Sciatica
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs and oral steroids are the ones that are prescribed for Sciatica. These drugs help to relieve swelling and pain. Epidural steroid injections are used to reduce inflammation. However, all these drugs may cause a lot of side effects like nausea, vomiting, headache, indigestion, etc.
Surgery is considered in patients where the pain is excruciating and associated with complications like loss of organ functions and loss of mobility. If the cause of sciatica is herniation of the disc, it can be operated. However, it should be noted that sciatica may recur in spite of undergoing these surgeries.
Natural Remedies for Sciatica
Complementary systems of medicine that consists of Ayurveda, homeopathy, and dietary supplements aim to address the root cause of sciatica. Sciatica is caused when a nerve root in the spine is compressed. Natural sciences are believed to support the normal functioning of the nerves, and spine and help to soothe the inflammation in the sciatic nerve naturally.
Natural ingredients hypericum, Tribulus terrestris, tinospora cordifolia, and zingiber officinale have shown tremendous effects in clinical studies on sciatica. A few of the clinical studies are mentioned below:
- Hypericum: A study suggests that hypericum helps in the rejuvenation of the nerves. 
- Tribulus Terrestris: Research shows that Tribulus terristris may help to improve nerve functioning naturally. 
- Tinospora cordifolia: The study indicates that tinospora cordifolia improves joint and nerve functioning. 
- Zingiber officinale: Research suggests that zingiber officinale may help to reduce inflammation and thus help to improve functions of nerves and joints. 
How to help relieve Sciatic nerve pain?
- Tissue Massage on the affected area may help to restore the spine range of motion and improve its flexibility.
- Mind and body techniques including meditation, deep breathing, cognitive behavioral therapy helps to reduce stress and relax your muscles.
- Certain other alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation may also help to reduce pain.
Biogetica combines all these natural remedies to target sciatica as a whole and from its root cause so that effects can be long-lasting. All of our products have traditional use of clinical analysis from Homeopathy and Ayurveda and are supported by modern research and trials. If you want to know the natural, safe and effective natural treatment for sciatica or consult a doctor for free, please click on the https://www.biogetica.com/is-there-a-sciatica-natural-treatment-which-cures-sciatica#overview
- Mrinmoy Gautam and Muthiah Ramanathan. “Saponins of Tribulus terrestris attenuated neuropathic pain induced with vincristine through central and peripheral mechanism.” Springer Link; Inflammopharmacology; 27, 761-772 (2019).
Dr Khyati Dave is a licensed Homeopathy Physician and Nutritional Consultant. With Biogetica, she has witnessed many patients, who had otherwise given up hope, heal faster supplemented by our natural methods. She considers consulting Biogetica patients her primary responsibility and honour. She often writes about nutrition, natural treatment methods and diet. Her mission is to apply her medical talents to help each patient heal faster and do her best to give the immunity of patients with so called ‘incurable’ diseases a fighting chance.