Sciatica is pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back. The medical term for sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy.
Sciatica symptoms typically felt on only one side of the body. They may include a combination of leg and foot pain, weakness, tingling or numbness.
Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disc, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg. Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating.
It is important to remember that sciatica is a symptoms of an underlying condition, not a diagnosis in itself.
Without exercise and movement, the back muscles and spinal structures become less stable. The weakening can lead to back injury and strain, which causes additional pain. In addition, active exercise is also important for the health and of the spinal discs. Movement helps exchange nutrients and fluids within the discs to keep them healthy and prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Trauma can cause one or more discs to bulge. This crowds nearby nerves, causing irritation and inflammation. If neglected, the nerve irritation extends down one or both legs along the sciatic nerves. The pain appears in the leg, but the culprit is often the lower back.
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