Sciatica

Sciatica is actually a symptom of a pinched nerve in the low back (lumbar spine). The pain of sciatica radiates down the leg and can be incapacitating. The pain may be associated with numbness, tingling or weakness.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Anything that pinches a nerve can cause symptoms of sciatica. The most common cause is a herniated disc. A disc cushions the vertebrae in your spine and keeps it flexible. But when it's damaged, it can break open, bulge or herniate. A herniated disc is also called a slipped or ruptured disc. Other causes include arthritic bone spur, joint cyst and rarely, tumors or infections.

About 80% of people with a herniated disc DO NOT need back surgery. Treatment is usually conservative and may include medications, physical therapy, epidural injection of steroids and a diagnostic MRI.

You can manage Sciatica

  • Practice good posture.
  • Sit in a chair with proper support. Make sure your office chair lets you sit at proper ergonomic height.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress. Try adopting the fetal position with a pillow between your knees.
  • Do 20 to 30 minutes of stretching exercises daily.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do low impact aerobics that you can perform comfortably.

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