Every person in his or her life once suffers from back pain. If not taken care of immediately, the pain aggravates and causes other problems. One of the major problems created by prolonged back pain is Sciatica. Research studies show that 5-10% of the population suffer from Sciatica. You must be wondering what Sciatica is, what its symptoms are, and whatnot. In this article, we will answer all the questions about Sciatica and share some tips to get relief from this problem.
What is Sciatica?
There is a nerve present in our lower spine when this nerve gets compressed due to increased external pressure or a sudden impact or shock caused to the spine due to accidents that caused Sciatica in individuals. Sciatica can be acute or chronic. Mild Sciatica can be cured by treatment or certain practices, but it is difficult to cure chronic sciatica pain. People who have Sciatica are advised to use specialized mattresses that can help in relieving their pain.
People often end up getting confused between normal back pain and Sciatica. So, check the symptoms before you classify it into back pain or Sciatica.
- Pain- The first symptom you will experience is that you will have excruciating pain all over the body and the most in the lower back area. The sciatic nerve goes from the buttocks to the legs. These are the two body parts where you will experience the most pain.
- Numbness- You will start feeling numbness in your lower back area and legs. The numbness will originate from the sciatica nerve only, which is located in the lower back area.
- Tingling sensation- You will experience a tingling sensation in your toes and feet. You will feel difficulty in walking.
If you have any of these symptoms then it is better to get an x-ray done after consulting a doctor to get better clarity.
Causes and Risk Factors
The causes of Sciatica can be having Spondylitis or arthritis. If not taken care of, then this gets converted into Sciatica in the long run. The risk factors of developing Sciatica can be sleeping on an old and bad mattress, having a sedentary lifestyle, prolonged sitting hours, not having a nutritious diet, long driving hours and no physical activity. With age, many older people start developing Sciatica due to changes in spine. To prevent Sciatica, make sure to maintain the right posture of spine while sleeping and exercise regularly so that your back doesn’t become stiff.
How to get relief from Sciatica
- Change your mattress– The first and foremost thing to be done is to buy certified mattress that keeps your spine aligned during sleep, improves blood circulation & revitalizes your disc. The best choice will be to purchase an orthopedic memory foam mattress.
- Practice yoga– There are many yoga postures that help in relieving sciatica pain. They help to appease the symptoms of Sciatica as well as give a good stretch to the back. Some examples of yoga postures that can be performed are child’s pose, downward-facing dog, half-moon pose, cobra pose, etc. Make sure you perform these poses under the supervision of a yoga instructor, and you do not overexert yourself while performing these. If you experience more pain while performing these poses, consult a doctor.
- Hot or cold compresses- Cold and hot compressions can be alternatively used to relieve the pain caused due to Sciatica. Assess which compression helps best in relieving the pain then you can start using it whenever you feel pain.
- Physiotherapy– It is a good technique that can give you relief from Sciatica. If you are regular at getting physiotherapy, this can help cure Sciatica in the long run only if you have mild Sciatica.
- Painkillers- These need to be taken under the direction of a doctor. If the state of Sciatica is chronic and you experience a lot of pain, then painkillers and other medicines are given to numb the pain and stop the burning sensation. Doctors give pain relievers, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants. Always remember not to get dependent on these medicines as too much of them can have drastic effects on your body.
Sciatica is surely a painful problem, it’s not easy to get rid of it, but at least you can do things that give you relief from this problem. The best thing to deal with this problem should be switching to a new mattress, preferably medium form or firm memory foam as it keeps the natural curvature of your spine in neutral alignment and give good relief to your pain. Practice the other relief methods, and you will feel better. If you still don’t get relief, take professional help or consult a doctor.