Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sciatica - ouchies

Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg.
It is caused by injury to or compression of the sciatic nerve.
It is a symptom of another medical problem, not a medical condition on its own.

The pain often starts slowly. Sciatica pain may get worse:

  • After standing or sitting
  • At night
  • When bending backwards or walking more than a few yards

Some causes of this pain:
Piriformis syndrome
Slipped disk
Degenerative disk disease
Spinal stenosis
Pelvic injury or fracture

Piriformis syndrome: basically a pain in the ass...caused by the muscle being pulled too tightly

The piriformis (or pyriformis) is a buttock muscle located behind the sciatic nerve,
the largest nerve of the human body
This occurs when part of the sciatic nerve becomes
entrapped, compressed, or irritated by this muscle.
Due to the close proximity of the sciatic nerve and piriformis muscle,
sciatica is very often part of the problem,
with pain in the buttock radiating to the back of the thigh,
sometimes with numbness and muscle weakness.

Slipped Disk: a herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a spinal disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This places pressure on nearby nerves

Degenerative disk disease: a natural part of aging
and over time all people will exhibit changes in their discs
consistent with a greater or lesser degree of degeneration.
However, not all people will develop symptoms.
In fact, degenerative disc disease is quite variable in its nature and severity.

MISNOMER "degenerative", applies to the disc degenerating, but does not apply to the symptoms. While the disc degenerates over time, the pain usually gets betterover time. "disease", is not really a disease at all, but rather a degenerative condition that at times can produce pain from a damaged disc.

Spinal stenosis: is a narrowing of areas in the lumbar (back) or cervical (neck) spine, which causes pressure on the spinal cord or one or more of the spinal nerves

I understand that I am not a doctor.....but here is what i have found in my research for treatments of Siatica:

  • Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Try ice for the first 48 - 72 hours, then use heat after that.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • While sleeping, try lying in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.

If at-home measures do not help, your doctor may recommend injections to reduce inflammation around the nerve. Other medicines may be prescribed to help reduce the stabbing pains associated with sciatica.

i understand that ice will help with the inflammation around the nerve.....

yes the inflammation around the nerve needs to be tended to BUT what about the underlying cause?

a tight piriformis, or disk pinching?

FIXING the underlying problem should top priority, not masking the symptoms

how about mentioning physical therapy?

maybe explaining why the problem exists?

it just seems strange to me that a doctor would recommend a cortisone shot before a pirifomis stretch


but then again i also dont know why someone would let it go that long to the point where a shot is required to function

take care of your body

sit with proper posture

stretch if you must sit for extended periods of time

work on your core stabilizers

wear sunscreen


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