Sciatica - and if it will affect the spine?

January 1, 2014

  • Sciatica - and if it will affect the spine?
  • As shown

 Sciatica - it is a common disease that can occur at any age. But more often this disease strikes older people and those engaged in heavy physical labor or power sports such as weightlifting.

Sciatica - a disorder caused by inflammation of the largest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve begins in the lumbar region of the spinal cord passes through the buttock and ends a little above the knee. Accordingly, sciatica causes pain in the lower back and the back of the hip that may radiate to the legs below the knee joint

In most cases, this disturbance is caused by displacement of the intervertebral discs in the lumbar spine, as a result of this happening compression of the sciatic nerve, which can cause more or less severe pain. However, symptoms of the neuralgia of the sciatic nerve may also be caused by tumors, internal bleeding, infections and injuries. Sometimes the compression and sciatica Sciatica - warn it is too late  Sciatica - warn it is too late
   It occurs during pregnancy, when the increase in volume uterus begins to put pressure on the surrounding structures.


What causes sciatica

Neuralgia of the sciatic nerve (sciatica) - it's a pain along the sciatic nerve irritation caused by the shell that covers the sciatic nerve The sciatic nerve: how to avoid the excruciating pain?  The sciatic nerve: how to avoid the excruciating pain?
 That is, it is actually the first stage of sciatica - inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica can be caused by:

  • herniated disc (elastic amortization pads between the vertebrae) when the disc is out of the spine and compresses the roots extending from the spinal cord nerves;
  • osteochondrosis - metabolic diseases of the spine in which the change occurs vertebrae formation of growths on them, compressing or irritating the spinal nerve roots;
  • spondylolisthesis - a disease - the result of slippage of one vertebra relative to the other and infringement nerve root;
  • piriformis syndrome - irritation of the sciatic nerve piriformis (sciatic nerve runs under the piriformis muscle);
  • the violation of the sacroiliac joint - it can also cause irritation of the sciatic nerve;
  • irritation of the sciatic nerve tumor.



Sciatica - pain is associated with irritation of the nerve. Typically, neuralgia occurs on only one side, it has a stinging or character shooting as shock. Violated and sensitivity in the affected limb - there is a feeling of numbness or pins and needles.

Neuralgia of the sciatic nerve can occur in different ways: with constant intense pain, aggravated by awkward movements, in the form of attacks of pain that after some time pass and then back again, unexpressed pain, the intensity of which gradually increases and so on.

The pain usually starts in the lumbosacral region, and then begin to give in the buttock, thigh, shin and foot. It happens that the pain starts with the buttocks, it all depends on what level was the defeat of the sciatic nerve. But in any case, leg pain is much more intense than in the back. Pain can instantly aggravated by sudden movement, coughing, sneezing and so on.

If the background of these symptoms appear muscle weakness, it may indicate that the process has gone far enough, and had struck the nerve fibers, that is, began neuritis sciatica - sciatica.



The main symptoms of sciatic neuralgia is pain, burning sensation, numbness or tingling in the areas where the nerve. Patients with this disorder often complain of back pain, buttocks and thighs, which is so strong that a person can not cope with their daily duties. In the most severe cases, the pain interferes with walking or even tilted. Usually, when a person lies down, the pain goes completely or become much weaker.



In order to assign the proper treatment, you need to first find out the cause of the neuralgia. Therefore, the patient, primarily prescribe X-rays of the spine, which can be seen changes in bone tissue, that is, see manifestation osteohodnroza or spondylolisthesis. In order to detect a herniated disc, is held computer or magnetic resonance imaging (CT or MRI). Also, sometimes held radioisotope scanning of the spine, which allows you to identify, for example, a tumor.

If you suspect a violation of the doctor inspects, during which asks the patient to bend, lift or bend the leg, and so on, and at the same time comment on their own experiences. Sometimes the diagnosis of sciatica as radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and electromyography - these procedures reveal the causes of sciatic neuralgia and assign the most effective treatment.



Bed rest is traditionally considered the most effective treatment for neuralgia of the sciatic nerve. But how effective is it in reality?

To study the effect of this method, a group of researchers conducted a study, which was attended by 183 patients suffering from neuralgia of the sciatic nerve. They were divided into two groups, and patients from the first group had recommended two weeks of bed rest, and patients from the second group during this period led a normal life - they must have been carefully monitor your condition and, if necessary, seek medical help.

At the end of the study the results of treatment were evaluated on two criteria: the first was the general condition of patients after two weeks and twelve weeks, the second - a person's ability to function normally, the level of pain and the need for surgery .  Doctors who examined the patients, as well as people engaged in processing the data, did not know which method was used to treat them .  According to the study, after two weeks in 64 of 92 (70%) patients in the group that was assigned to bed rest, there was a marked improvement .  In another group the condition improved in 59 of 91 patients (65%) .  Twelve weeks later, the improvement was observed in 87% of patients in both groups .  Evaluation of the results by all criteria did not reveal significant differences between members of the two groups: patients with almost equal frequency had to miss work, as well as to resort to surgical treatment of sciatic neuralgia .

Researchers concluded that bed rest is wrongly considered the most effective treatment for neuralgia, and patients do not necessarily need long-term sick leave in order to get rid of the pain, which causes compression of the sciatic nerve.

When treating sciatic neuralgia commonly used drugs for pain and inflammation (including injectable and oral corticosteroids, physiotherapy and: various stretching exercises Stretching exercises - Be careful  Stretching exercises - Be careful
   and massage well facilitate pain and feet.

Surgery is only necessary in cases where a sciatica can not cope in other ways, and it causes severe discomfort that lasts for a long time.


Risk factors

The likelihood of sciatic neuralgia increase violations such as arthritis Arthritis - a variety of forms and complications  Arthritis - a variety of forms and complications
 , Sciatica, as well as damage to the lumbar spine.



The prognosis of sciatic neuralgia depends on the cause of violations, as well as, to a certain extent on how soon a patient sought medical help. Many patients recover fully and return to normal life, but sometimes the disease leads to chronic pain, which may adversely affect the disabled person.


Can you prevent sciatica?

Perhaps to some extent to reduce the likelihood of developing this disorder, taking steps to prevent injuries of the lumbar spine.