The sciatic nerve is almost 3 feet long and it goes from the bottom of your spine down the back of your leg, right down to the tips of your toes.
It is the biggest nerve in your body. Sciatica pain is most often caused by a bulging disk.
As the disk bulges it can cause irritation of the sciatic nerve, which causes the pain.
People can actually have bulging disks and not experience any pain, but when there is pain, it can be quite extreme and it runs through your buttocks and down the back of your thigh. The pain only occurs on one side of your body.
People are frequently mis-diagnosed and any back pain is labeled as sciatica. In reality there are many other conditions that can cause back and leg pain. It is only sciatica if the sciatic nerve is irritated, otherwise it's something else entirely.
Your doctor can perform tests to determine if you pain is actually sciatica or something else. It's important to get the problem accurately diagnosed in order to provide the proper treatment.
Anyone who has ever suffered from sciatica knows how excruciatingly painful this condition can be. If you are a sufferer the only thing on your mind is to find a way to relieve sciatic nerve pain.
Prescription drugs to relieve pain are expensive, can have potentially dangerous side effects, and may even be addictive, and if you don't relieve the underlying problem you will suffer from continual flareups. Besides you won't be able to stay on the pills forever, and then what?
It's always better to get the proper diagnosis and treatment for your pain, by addressing the cause and not just relieving the symptoms you will hopefully reduce any further painful flareups.
Many people would rather find natural forms of relief and prevention instead of using drugs that just mask the pain but don't do anything to cure the problem.
Keeping your muscles flexible and strong with exercise can help prevent sciatica. Also any low impact activities such as walking, swimming, bike riding, etc, can help by increasing blood circulation.
A better option for many sciatica sufferers is to use various physical therapies to help prevent painful flareups.
Many people have had great success in keeping sciatica pain at bay by implementing stretching, yoga, pilates, or a combination of all three into their daily routine.
These stretching exercises will help keep your muscles loose and increase the amount of space in between each vertebrae. Stretching back, buttock, and leg muscles can relieve sciatica.
Many health care professionals also advise exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles. The idea is to form a 'muscular girdle' that will help keep your discs in proper alignment. And the exercise will provide the added benefit of improving your overall health.
The most important thing I want you to take away from this article is that there are other ways to relieve sciatic nerve pain besides resorting to prescription drugs. Find one, or more, methods that work for you. Your body will thank you!