What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain going down the leg from the lower back. Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
What causes sciatica? -
Sciatica pain is caused by an irritation, inflammation, pinching or compression of a nerve in the lower back. The most common cause is a herniated or slipped disk that causes pressure on the nerve root.
If you have “sciatica," you experience mild to severe pain anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve – that is, anywhere from the lower back, through the hips, buttocks and/or down your legs. Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.
Sciatica usually can be treated successfully by a brief period of resting and limiting activity. Avoid prolonged bedrest that can actually make sciatica worse. Start gentle exercises to improve mobility and strengthen the back as soon as you can. If you are not making any progress, notify your doctor. Physical therapy including remedial massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and yoga can be helpful.
In severe cases, an injection of a long-acting anesthetic with a corticosteroid medication may provide relief.
When to call a health service provider -
Contact your massage therapist if sciatica pain grows worse over a few days, or if it begins to interfere significantly with your daily activities.