Sciatica is the pain and difficulty in movement caused by the stretching, compression or deformation of the sciatic nerve, known as the thickest nerve in the body.
The sciatic nerve, which is known as the nerve ischiadicus in the medical language, starts from the waist and continues to the heel and is the longest and widest nerve known. The sciatic nerve creates motor and sensory functions in the region where it is located, so the severity of the pain that occurs in cases such as compression, stretching or deformation of the nerve is at a significant level and these pains are called sciatica.
The sciatic nerve, which is the longest and widest single nerve in the human body, originates from the 4th and 5th vertebrae in the lumbar region of the spine and continues from the midpoint of the hip to the sole of the foot.
The main task of the sciatic nerve, one of the most important nerves of the body, is to send signals to the fibers that provide the strength and movement of the leg. At the same time, it manages the communication network of the muscles in the waist, leg and foot region through the nerves by providing the innervation of the muscles.
The most obvious basic symptom of sciatic pain is pain that starts in the lumbar region and spreads along the nerves from the back hip to the lower part of the leg and from here to the foot.
Sciatica pain, which increases with movement, can cause difficulties especially when sitting and moving from sitting to standing position.
In advanced stages, sciatic pain can lead to numbness and difficulty in movement, along with pain in the areas where it is located.
Sciatica pain, which can also be observed with symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the legs and feet, may cause loss of strength in the muscles it stimulates, depending on the degree of nerve compression.
Sciatica occurs when the bones in the spine press on the sciatic nerve as a result of the deterioration of the discs between the vertebrae. Generally, sciatica is caused by a herniated disc.
Depending on age, the discs may lose their fluid and deteriorate, and many different external factors may predispose to the formation of sciatic pain. Sciatica, which manifests itself as back, hip and leg pain, can occur as a result of the following reasons.
Excessive Weight Gain: Factors such as uncontrolled weight gain or obesity may cause the spine to be exposed to more weight than it can bear, causing herniation of the discs and sciatic pain.
Inactivity: Sedentary life style can lead to weakening of the muscles, decrease in the flexibility and resistance of the spine and invite sciatica pain.
Heavy to lift: Trying to lift loads or objects in the wrong position, or to lift more than the spine can carry, can cause a herniated disc along with nerve compression and sciatica.
Advanced Age: With aging, weakening of the bones and tissues around the bone and fluid losses in the discs can cause compression of the sciatic nerve and sciatic pain.
Diabetes: Nervous system damage can be encountered frequently, especially in people with diabetes, and sciatic pain is more common in these people.
Pregnancy: Since weight gain can be seen during pregnancy, this situation may exert excessive pressure on the vertebrae, causing compression of the sciatic nerve and causing sciatic pain due to nerve compression.
Trauma: Sciatica pain can be seen due to damage to the sciatic and surrounding subject as a result of traffic accidents, sports injuries and other injuries.
In the first stage, sciatica manifests itself as back, hip and leg pain depending on the region it is located in, and the first treatment applied at this stage is to reduce the pain with painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Sciatica is a condition that rarely requires surgical operation, and in general, sciatica pain can be controlled with physical therapy, manual therapy applications, and medical exercises combined with these applications.
One of the techniques that helps to eliminate the causes of sciatica is physical therapy therapies. Physical therapy aims to strengthen weakened muscles, encouraging people to move, and movement helps reduce sciatic pain.
Hot compress applications applied during physical therapy help to accelerate the healing by relieving the painful area.
Manual therapy, which can also be considered as a part of physical therapy, helps to relieve sciatic pain by helping to regulate the spinal alignment with various manipulations with manual intervention, reducing the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
At the same time, manual therapy applications, which aim to strengthen the muscles and provide effective communication between the nerves, are considered as an effective and successful method in the treatment of sciatica when applied by expert physiotherapists.
Maintaining the correct posture is just as important for relieving sciatic pain as it is for a healthy spine. Medical exercises carried out simultaneously with physical therapy and manual therapy applications aim to correct the posture and strengthen the muscles.
Exercise models such as yoga and pilates also benefit from relieving sciatic pain. With the exercises performed under the control of expert physiotherapists, it is aimed to strengthen weak muscle groups by regaining the flexibility of the body.
With medical exercises that help alleviate or relieve pain, the pressure on the sciatic nerve applied by the vertebrae is prevented. In addition, since the endorphin hormone, known as a natural pain reliever, can be secreted more with regular exercises, medical exercises are also considered as pain relievers for sciatica.