sciatica nerve problems - 3 Questions on Sciatica - do you know the "right" answers?
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3 Questions on Sciatica - do you know the "right" answers?

Are you one of the thousands you have sciatica. Do you have that nagging back pain that now travels down your leg... making you feel tired, frustrated and grumpy?


Lets start with the basic question on most peoples mind, what is sciatica? The general term used for pain being felt along the sciatic nerve is sciatica. This pain is usually described by patients as a sharp electric shocking type pain that starts in the buttocks and travels down the back of the thigh and leg. Most often caused by a herniated disk, there are also other causes. When diagnosing sciatica symptoms a MRI scan is most often taken to help with this process. If your MRI shows a herniated disk make sure to get referred to a spine specialist. A spine specialist can look over your X-rays and be able to recommend the proper course of treatment.


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 sciatica nerve problemsSo you have been diagnosed with sciatica and even though your doctor explained to you about the condition, you have come looking for a bit more information on sciatica.

If you have experimented with the more standard herniated disc treatment, and wish to try something new, it may be well worth considering the traditional Chinese therapy of acupuncture. Acupuncture is perhaps the most popular form of traditional oriental medicine, and it has proven to be quite effective for treatment of a herniated disc and the sciatic pain associated. Further to this the acupuncture can also relieve spinal stenosis, lower back pain, spine root compression, neck pain, neuropathy and other irritating and debilitating diseases.

It is a frightening statistic that more than half of the US adult population experience or are affected by sciatica pain. It is that burning pain from the lower back down to the feet caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve resulting in most instances in a herniated disc. The normal reaction for sufferers of a herniated disc and sciatic pain is too improve the posture and walk and site more upright. This however can increase the pressure on the problem area, resulting in further discomfort. It is quite common that, with age and poor nutrition, the back bone and its muscles and other essential body parts deteriorate and breakdown, and factors like overexertion, accidents, diseases, and bad posture all result in back problems.

In some cases Chinese herbs and acupuncture have been proven to be more effective, less risky and less invasive in comparison to more common forms of treatment for a herniated disc such as surgery and oral steroids. Side effects associated with drugs for treating a herniated disc is a common reason for people experimenting with acupuncture.

Acupuncture as a herniated disc treatment when performed as early as possible has been shown to rapidly improve recovery time and ease sciatica pain significantly. Research has shown that the acupuncture stimulates the damaged area of the spine creating naturally occurring steroids encouraging it to repair and producing valuably endorphins in the body. In this natural way the swelling is minimized and the pain of the herniated disc is eased. This dual effect from the acupuncture is why is can be so effective

Question 2... What type of sciatic pain to do you have? Knowing which type of pain you suffer helps to determine how severe your sciatica is. Most people with sciatica will experience pain, it may be a gnawing, and toothache feeling or it may throb or shoot down the leg. Others will have a numb feeling and some may experience the muscles not holding their strength. If you look at the type of pain, you can see how serious it is.

To have this goal is admirable... but you need to know 3 very important facts first. Or your sciatica may not disappear and you may suffer for a long time yet. Something you do not want... or need.

If you know the right answers to the 3 important Sciatica questions, sciatica can disappear quickly. If you fit the criteria of caution, then be cautious and seek professional intervention. Don't let sciatica "lay you up"... learn to get rid of sciatica once and for all.

If you have not had trauma, if your general health is generally okay, your sciatica will most likely respond to some simple self help techniques you can use at home. It can ease and disappear quickly... but as the saying goes - if pain persists see your doctor.

For more information on Sciatica issues just visit Sciatica - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com/sciatica.html

Receive a free e-book on back pain when you subscribe to our newsletter, just click here - Back Pain Adviser - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com/back-pain-adviser.html

Sciatica refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This condition is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain. The term "sciatica" indicates that the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the buttocks and into the leg, is thought to be the cause of the pain in this condition. True sciatica is a condition that occurs when a herniated lumbar disc compresses one of the contributing roots of the sciatic nerve. This type of low back pain is less common than other causes and conditions that produce back pain.

Sacroiliitis: The joint where your hip meets your spine is called the sacroiliac joint. When your sacroiliac joint becomes inflamed it is known as sacroiliitis. Sciatica type syndromes can be felt due to inflammation caused by arthritis or traumatic injury. Anesthetic injections or anti-inflammatory medications can take away the pain.

Dr Graeme Teague is an expert in the structural field, and has been in practice since 1991. His newly launched web site The Back Pain Advisor - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com - strives to give you valuable and expert advice, tips and information on your back pain issues.

Sciatica is often confused. It can be a serious condition or it may be an irritation that is easily corrected. How do you know? If know the answer to three questions, then you can decide whether you can correct your sciatica yourself or you need to seek help from a structural specialist.

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Symptoms can vary from extreme pain in the low back radiating into one buttock and down the leg. Pain often increases on exertion or bending forward. Alternatively, there may only be a mild sensation in the leg or buttock. There may be numbness in the area, weakness in the leg and diminution of the reflexes. Pain may be triggered by coughing or straining and can be so severe that the lower back becomes locked in sideways bending position (scoliosis) caused by a strong contraction.

Can you actually imagine being free of sciatica? Do you really believe there is a cure, so you can enjoy all the activities you use to do? Wouldn't life be perfect again if that pesky sciatica disappeared once and for all!

Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome: The pain coming from the joints in your back with this particular symptom can cause Sciatica like symptoms along with pain and discomfort. Just like the knee and elbow can get inflamed and cause pain, the facet joint is like any other joint in your body and follows these same rules.

Nerves, when irritated, exhibit definite pain patterns. The outer fibers of the nerve create what is called paraesthesia - which mean altered sensation. You may experience tingling, the gnawing feeling and a sensation of numbness. The numbness is a sensation not a reality. You can check this by pinching the area or using a pin prick. If you still feel pain with these then you have paraesthesia not true numbness.

 
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Symptoms The most common symptom of sciatica mimics the pain of a severe leg cramp. Depending on where damage to the nerve occurs, pain may be accompanied by numbness or tingling, a burning sensation or general weakness in the leg.

Question 1... How far does your sciatica travel? The sciatic nerve can be irritated in the lower back, pelvis and as a result of muscular tightness in the buttock. If you have lower back pain and pain travels out to the buttock, this can still be sciatica. It is just a lesser form and easily corrected with various lower back stretches, exercises and joint techniques.

Sciatica refers to pain along the path of the sciatica nerve. It is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Fortunately, most cases of sciatica are not serious and usually resolve within six weeks. The sciatic nerve branches off nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord - it's two branches run from the lower back through the each side of the pelvis, buttocks, back of leg to the foot.

The deeper layers of the nerve then cause the sharper, definite pain. The deepest levels will cause actual numbness and loss of muscle power, strength and endurance. If you experience symptoms of the deeper layer disturbances, then professional help is essential.

Some signs and symptoms of sciatica are: A cramping sensation of the thigh Shooting pains from the buttock, down the leg Tingling, or pins-and-needles sensations in the legs and thighs A burning sensation in the thigh Maneuvers such as squatting, coughing or sneezing worsen the sciatica symptoms that the patient is having. The cause of the worsened sciatica symptoms is the jerking motion adding pressure that is being placed around the nerve. I mentioned earlier that sciatica is not always caused by a herniated or slipped disk. Some other causes of Sciatica could be:

Sciatic pain usually starts in the buttocks and extends down the rear of the thigh and lower leg to the sole of the foot and along the outer side of the lower leg to the top of the foot. Pain may also be present in the lower back.

It is very important for one's recommended doctor or physician to assess the degree of damage involved in the herniated disc and associated sciatica pain, before considering acupuncture as an effective treatment for the herniated disc.

Question 3... What caused your sciatica? If you have had a fall or injury then sciatica needs attention. Sciatica at times is caused by disc injuries and spinal conditions that relate to joint instability. These need to be assessed and treated accordingly. Although the majority of sciatic nerve irritation comes after situations that appear completely normal. Your normal daily activity should not cause sciatica, however a build up of tension can lead to sciatic nerve problems.

Conclusion The benefits of acupuncture often vary from patient to patient and are also very dependent on the person administering the acupuncture. Always seek you doctor or physician's advice before getting acupuncture treatment for a herniated disc and sciatica pain. Acupuncture is certainly a far more positive option for treating a herniated disc than surgery and more serious oral steroids.

To simply correct this type of sciatica, you need to know this! If your lower back pain travels down the leg to your foot or ankle, then obviously the sciatic nerve is irritated at a greater level. The further your sciatica travels, generally speaking, the worse the condition. In these situations professional advice and treatment is indicated.

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Acupuncture tends to be even more effective when it is utilized upon the onset of the initial symptoms of a herniated disc such as back spasms and cramps. If the condition of the herniated disc is more severe, often acupuncture will be teamed with traditional Chinese herbal remedies to assist in the recovery process. Further to this the longer lasting effects of acupuncture are realized through combining the treatment with physical therapy and exercises. When acupuncture is delivered correctly there can also be additional benefits for the patient- such as an improvement in mood and less fatigue.

Piriformis Syndrome: Simply put this is pain caused by the Piriformis muscle that may be in spasm, inflamed, or irritated. Located in you buttock and laying right on top of the sciatic nerve as it exits the spine down your leg. When this muscle is inflamed, irritated or in spasm it will cause pressure on the sciatic nerve causing the sciatica like symptoms.

Being extremely uncommon in younger patients sciatica can still affect most anyone. Most people who suffer from sciatica are in the age range of thirty to fifty. Most often back injury or over exerting the back will bring on a sudden onset of sciatica.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: This is the narrowing of the spinal canal causing sciatica type symptoms. Disk problems and arthritis of the spine can cause this narrowing.

Causes The sciatic nerve is commonly injured by fractures of the pelvis, gunshot wounds, or other trauma to the buttocks or thigh. Prolonged sitting or lying with pressure on the buttocks may also injure it. Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, can typically damage many different nerves, including the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve may also be harmed by pressure from masses such as a tumor or abscess, or by bleeding in the pelvis.

Iliolumbar Syndrome: This is simply inflammation or a tear of the ililumbar ligament. This is the back of your pelvis and it extends from the spine to the iliac crest.

Commonly the major cause can be pinned as disc herniation in the lumbar spine which presses directly on the sciatic nerve and any triggers by such a reaction for example by irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone which in turn produces the symptoms of sciatica. Besides a compressed or a pinched nerve, other causes could also be tumors, muscle, internal bleeding, infections, injury etc. thus sciatica is not really a disease by itself but rather many other dependants make it into a medical condition worthy of attention

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