Sciatica - What Exactly Is It?

Sciatica?...

What is sciatica?  If you are suffering from it, you already know it is a nuisance you'd rather get rid of yesterday than tomorrow! So here's to finding out firstly what it is and next what you can do about it to rid yourself of every trace of it.

First thing you need to know is if you really suffer from sciatica, or whether it is something else. If you suffer unbearable pain, you first MUST know what is going on. So how do you know for sure if it is sciatica? Let's simply look at the sumtpoms of sciatica, shall we?

Symptoms Of Sciatica

Do you have pain in your lower back, buttock and leg? A pulling muscle ache in your leg? Tingling legs, shooting pain from the back to the ankle, nagging pain in your buttock, or stabbing pain in your buttock, leg or foot? Then you have symptoms that are associated with sciatica.

The pain with sciatica can range from nagging to stabbing pain, from a numb to a burning sensation and from muscle weakness to tingling.

Sciatica is the common name for back pain that radiates from the buttock all the way to the lower leg, both left and right. The pain can be so severe that it rules your life.

If you recognize your pain as sciatic pain, your next question is: How did I get this pain? (and: how do I get rid of it? - but that is the question after).

Sciatica Causes

A number of important causes for sciatica are:

wrong posture

wrong muscle strain (often a result of wrong posture)

herniated or bulging disc (because of pinching of the sciatic nerve where it exits the spine)

the piriformis syndrome (pinching of the leg nerve in your buttock by the pear shaped muscle – the piriformis)

trigger points

Nervus Ischiadicus

The name sciatica (ischias) stems from nervus ischiadicus, or: large leg nerve. This is the longest nerve of our body, and runs from the lower back all the way to the lower leg.

It is usually thought that the pain is caused by pinching of a nerve by the piriformis muscle – and that is why sciatica is also called the piriformis syndrome. We have different thoughts about this.

Because if the piriformis muscle could cause your nerve pain, would then not many more people suffer from this nerve being pinched, after all, we all strain this muscle several times a day. And fortunately, we don't all have radiating pain each day! Muscles are designed to strain. This should be possible without pain in your nerves!

The best explanation for radiating pain with sciatica has to do with trigger points. These are little tangible nodes in the myo-fascial tissue, as a result of overstrained or injured muscles.
Sciatica Pain – How Do I Tackle The Pain?

If trigger points are the cause of the pain, then these pain points could be massaged. By yourself, or by somebody else.

The trigger points that cause radiating pain with sciatica are usually located in the smaller buttock muscle (piriformis). But also in a number of places on the back side of your leg.

Trigger points keep the muscles hard and tense, which may cause in turn new trigger points or posture problems. Because if your muscles are constantly tense because of these trigger points, they pull on bones and joints, causing those to adapt a wrong posture which leads to unilateral strain and wear of joints and intervertebral discs.

And now you understand why it is so important to keep your muscles flexible and exercised. By properly exercising your muscles and keep them long and stretched, you prevent a lot of problems, and moreover you can solve many problems by working on making stiff muscles more flexible.
Sciatica – Make Sure Your Muscles Become Flexible And Stay That Way

And that is why special exercises are beneficiary if you suffer from sciatica pain. If you want, your physical or manual therapist can help you on your way, and of course you can find more than enough exercises on internet. It is important though to know that not all exercises work well.

Because if you already have sciatica, some exercises can actually worsen the symptoms. And that is obviously not what we want. If you quickly want to get a book with a series of exercises that already helped a lot of people, you could contemplate purchasing the e-book 'Back Pain: GOODBYE!'
Sciatica – Guard Your Posture

If wrong posture is the cause, then we first have to work on this posture. Many people have – often without noticing – adapted a wrong posture over the years, head leaned forward, shoulders leaning forward, hollow back, or also too flat a back.

This can go on and on for years without problems, but then all of a sudden you are confronted with pain. Because of this pain, you develop fear of moving, even though moving would be so good for your body.

Or your wrong posture exerts the wrong pressure on your muscles or may even block them. And that hurts!

Fortunately, you don't have to put up with this, because sciatica can be well healed. But you must apply the right approach! To improve your posture, we recommend the 'Guard Your Posture Checklist' which you can order on this site if you like.