What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a symptom and not a condition in its own right. It is pain from the sciatic nerve, most commonly caused by irritation of the spinal nerve root(s) in the lower back often referred to as the lumbar region.
The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. Several nerves join together to form the sciatic nerve in the buttock, which then runs all the way down the leg to the foot.
Sciatica most commonly causes pain in the buttocks and legs, especially when sitting down, but pain can be experienced anywhere from the lower back to the foot.
Who suffers from it?
People over the age of 40 are most likely to suffer from sciatica, and it can range in severity, from annoying to excruciating and debilitating. It’s not only the over 40’s that experience sciatic pain, younger people can be afflicted too.
Recovery usually takes up to six weeks and there’s no quick-fix solution. If the sciatic pain goes beyond six weeks it can take several months to recover and in rare cases it can lead to chronic pain. Healing is not always easy, and for many the pain can be difficult to manage without the right help.
How can it affect your lifestyle?
If it’s not properly managed sciatica can begin to seriously impair your quality of life and lead to mood swings, depression and a sense of hopelessness. Pain medication can help to manage the pain, but these are ineffective at helping you to heal and can spiral into increasing levels of dependence. Fortunately, there are many simple but effective ways of managing the condition and the road to recovery. It’s a matter of finding the right approach for you.