What Causes Sciatica and Why Does It Flare Up?
Posted on 22nd November 2021 at 12:13
Sciatica is a neurological condition that is commonly described as radiating leg pain (pain that travels elsewhere). It is caused by inflammation, compression, or irritation of the lumbosacral nerve roots (L4-S1) forming the sciatic nerve. In simple terms, the sciatic nerve originates in the lower portion of the spine and then branches off down the back of both legs.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of sciatica are:
A tingling sensation: (pins and needles) that travels from the lower back down to your toes, sometimes the pain doesn’t quite reach the toes but stops at your knee
Pain: a stabbing, burning or shooting pain that may be constant or on and off
What causes Sciatica to flare up?
Sciatica flare ups can be triggered by several different factors.
Tight fitting clothing
Footwear e.g., high heels
Sitting for prolonged periods of time
How does it get better?
For most people, sciatica does generally get better within a few weeks. However, for some it may last longer. You can ease your symptoms with the following tips -
Do try and continue with your normal routine and activities. Yes, this will hurt but try and avoid being seated or lying down for long periods of time.
Regularly stretch your lower back, glutes and hamstrings.
Heat the area, this will keep your muscles relaxed and warm
Painkillers – however these will mask the pain so avoid constantly using them
Massage – manual therapy will help release the muscle tension
Remember, moving around regulating will not harm or exacerbate your symptoms.
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