top of page
Search

Understanding Sciatica or Radicular Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Updated: Feb 26



Sciatica, also known as radicular pain, refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, a large nerve which originates from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down each leg. Sciatica typically occurs when there is compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness along the nerve pathway.


What Causes Sciatica Pain


Common causes of sciatica include:


  • Herniated Disc: When the soft inner material of a disc in the spine leaks out and irritates or compresses the adjacent nerve.

  • Spinal Stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the nerves, including the sciatic nerve.

  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Wear and tear on the discs between the vertebrae, which can lead to disc herniation and nerve compression.

  • Spondylolisthesis: A condition where one vertebra slips forward over another, potentially compressing the nerves.

  • Piriformis Syndrome: Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle in the buttocks.


Sciatica Pain Symptoms


The symptoms of sciatica can vary but often include:


  • Pain: Typically felt on one side of the lower back, buttock, and leg. The pain can range from a mild ache to sharp, burning sensations.

  • Numbness and Tingling: Along the path of the sciatic nerve, which may extend into the foot and toes.

  • Weakness: Muscles served by the affected nerve may become weak, leading to difficulties in moving the leg or foot.


Sciatica Treatments


Treatment for sciatica depends on the underlying cause but may include:


  • Pain Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications to manage pain and inflammation.

  • Physiotherapy: Exercises and stretches to improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve.

  • Heat or Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area can help alleviate symptoms.

  • Epidural Steroid Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered near the affected nerve root to reduce inflammation.

  • Surgery: In severe cases or when conservative treatments fail, surgery may be considered to address the underlying cause of nerve compression.


It's important for individuals experiencing symptoms of sciatica to consult with a healthcare professional such as your physiotherapist or GP for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Disclaimer:

The information contained within this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Body Fit makes every effort to ensure the quality of information available on this website, however, before relying on the information on the website the user should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes and should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular personal circumstances. Body Fit advise that you should always seek the advice of your physiotherapist, doctor or other qualified health provider with respect to any questions regarding any medical condition. The website may contain hyperlinks to external websites, which are not maintained by, or related to, Body Fit. Hyperlinks to such sites are provided as a service to readers, and while care is taken in selecting external websites, it is the responsibility of the reader to make their decisions about the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in the external website. Hyperlinks to any external websites do no imply endorsement by Body Fit. Body Fit does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by the use or reliance on the information provided in this website.

bottom of page