Types of Sciatica
You must have read or heard about some horror stories associated with sciatica pain. Of course, they are only horror stories because of the consequences they are currently faced with. Before anything, you must remember that sciatica is definitely not a disease. It is more of a symptom that giving you a wakeup call that something is going wrong with your nerves. The sciatica pain most often is like a stabbing pain that starts from the lower back or bum and radiates down the legs and feet. Weakness, numbness and tingling sensations are also associated with sciatica pain. Patients with sciatica describe the pain as shooting or stabbing sensations in the legs, hips or lower back.
Speaking more medically the nerve roots in the spinal cord forms the sciatic nerves. These are extremely sensitive, inflammatory and easily irritable. Therefore, suppose if you are sitting on a hard bench for a long time or carelessly lift a few pounds or even if you are pregnant, a little disturbance may trigger the sciatica pain. Most often, the patients who complain of sciatica pain usually maintain a healthy lifestyle. Athletes or sports professionals may complain of the sciatica pain initiated during fitness workouts.
You should be aware that you might have sciatica pain when you experience some common symptoms of sciatica. You should remember that the sciatica pain typically occurs in one leg not both. The backside of the affected leg feels a stabbing pain often accompanying numbness and tingling sensations. The pain usually starts in lower back or in buttocks and radiates down the back of the thigh into the leg and foot. This will make you so weak that you might not able to stand in a position at a stretch of 10 minutes or less. The pain sometimes leaves you unable to walk or even sit. Though lying down might give you a little comfort.
Sciatic nerve is the main cause for initiating this immense pain. However, quite a few things could cause trouble with the sciatic nerve and often it gets irritated or compressed. There are four common types of sciatica and each of these requires different forms of sciatica treatment.
Each of these types is unique and triggered from different locations. As of now, the most difficult one to diagnose is the Piriformis syndrome. The sciatic nerves run behind the piriformis muscle, which, connects to our hipbone and therefore is easily irritable when this muscle tenses up. It can compress the sciatic nerve and initiates the pain. It is hard to diagnose because it is muscular problem and cannot be detected on an X-ray. I was suffering from this type of sciatica pain. But, thankfully, it is one of the easier forms of sciatica that can be cured through a few stretch exercises.
Herniated or Bulging disc
Another common type of sciatica is the Herniated or Bulging disc. Herniated or Bulging discs are different kinds, yet, when occurs can cause similar type of consequences. These types occur mostly due to accidents. If the nucleus of a disc breaks through the annulus layer, it becomes a herniated disc. If it does not break through, but just bulges outward it becomes a bulging disc. However, in both cases, the discs press the sciatic nerves and the inflammation causes the tingling sensation and numbness along with the pain.
Lumber Spinal Stenosis
The third type is often associated with age and known as Lumber Spinal Stenosis. In this condition, the spinal canal gradually narrows causing pressure on our spinal cord as well as the spinal nerves. This is often confused with arthritis. Several changes happen in our body with the age. Those changes include the narrowing of the spinal canal that causes pressure on the spinal nerves generating the sciatica pain.
Spondylolisthesis is the condition you are either born with or suffer from after a traumatic injury. In this condition one of our vertebrae in the spine slips forward over another vertebra next to it. This situation most obviously causes the sciatic nerve to become compressed thus stimulates the stabbing pain.
These are the most common types cases of sciatica, but potential causes of sciatica pain. However, there are several other possibilities. Treatment processes often include pain pills, which are of no use in case of sciatica pain. However, sometimes lying down relaxes the pressure on the nerves and gives a little relief. Most often, the patients take hospital admissions because of the unbearable pain, which almost makes them immobile. But, that never helps except making a hole in your pocket. Patients with sciatica pain feel numbness in their leg which can cause the patient worry and fear of getting a paralytic attack. This is possible because you cannot feel anything down your leg except that stabbing pain and walking, standing or even moving that leg seems almost impossible. Sciatica is a condition that of course does not disappear overnight but trust me, if you follow proper exercising techniques, in time it does go away.
Doctors will give you painkiller pills, but the chiropractors, physiotherapists and the acupuncturists can also help to alleviate the pain. They will normally give you some of the easiest exercises, which if followed properly will give you permanent solution to your pain. However, there are certain risk factors associated with the recurrence of sciatica pain such as, aging, obesity, certain occupations and diabetes.
We are well versed with the saying prevention is better than cure. But, in case of sciatica, you may not prevent the cause that triggers the pain. However, some changes in lifestyle and some healthy habits may help you to strengthen your back muscles and protect you from that sciatica curse. It is very important to pay special attention to your core muscles i.e. the abdomen and lower back muscles that are vital for maintaining proper posture and body alignment. Always try to seat with a good lower back support, swivel base and arm rests. While in a sitting position try to keep your hips and knees level. Taking short breaks during work and a stroll around the office also helps. While lifting anything heavy always put the pressure on your legs rather than on your back and avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Finding a partner to help you with lifting any heavy object always helps.