Sciatica: Lower Back Pain

Women are more likely to experience lower back pain than men. One quarter of population that experiences a lower back pain, is sciatica pain.

While symptoms can be painful and very unpleasant, permanent sciatic nerve damage (tissue damage) happens extremely rarely as a result and spinal cord involvement is possible but rare.

Symptoms

Symptoms are usually based on the location of the pinched nerve:

  • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or searing (versus a dull ache)
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
  • A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk
  • Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes (it rarely occurs only in the foot)

Why does it happen?

Many factors are involved in back related problems, like occupational factor (do you stand , sit or walk on your workplace) and nonwork-related factors (if you you are not enough physically active). The latter may include age, gender, cigarette smoking status, physical fitness level, lumbar mobility, strength, medical history, and structural abnormalities.

In most cases, the anatomical cause of sciatica pain, regardless of its relationship to work exposures, cannot be determined with any degree of clinical certainty. Muscle strain is probably the most common type of work or nonwork back pain.

What to do about it?

Sciatica is not a disease or medical diagnosis by itself, but rather symptom of underlying medical condition. It is diagnosed by a healthcare professional and before you do anything about it consult your doctor.

Exercise

Exercise is better than bed rest. It is good to rest for a day or two until the pain is gone, but for long term results is better to exercise and strengthen your back muscles.

Analgetic gel

Your doctor may prescribe you oral painkillers and/or topical painkillers. Topical preparations are first-line treatment because they don’t do damage on stomach, but are absorbed and have effect on the site of pain. If topical preparations are not effective and the patient still have pain, oral preparations are recommended.

Magnesium

Magnesium supplementation improves functional recovery in various neurological disorders.  It improves neurobehavioral, electrophysiological functions, enhances regeneration, and reduces deposits of inflammatory cells as well as expression of inflammatory mediator chemicals.

sciatica-pain-causes

Sources:

  • Pan HC, Sheu ML, Su HL, Chen YJ, Chen CJ, Yang DY, Chiu WT, Cheng FC,Magnesium supplement promotes sciatic nerve regeneration and down-regulates inflammatory response,Magnesium research, 2011 Jun;24(2):54-70
  • Summary Health Statistics for U.S.Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2010; Vital and health statistics, Series 10, Number 252, January 2012, http://www.cdc.gov
  • Stephen H. Hochschuler, MD ; What you need to know about sciatica,                                 http://www.spine-health.com
  • Low-Back Musculoskeletal Disorders: Evidence for Work-Relatedness, Centers for desease control and prevention, http://www.cdc.gov
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