Sciatica is pain associated with damage or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It starts at five different levels of the spinal cord in the lumbar spine, then travels down the leg, splitting into smaller nerves that supply energy to the thigh, knee, shin, ankle, foot, and toes.
Varieties of sciatica
- upper sciatica – damage to the extradural part of the root and cord;
- middle sciatica – plexus disease;
- lower sciatica – damage to the sciatic nerve and its branches.
Causes of sciatica
General or local hypothermia, diseases of the spine (osteochondrosis, spondylosis, deformation of the intervertebral discs), arthritis, trauma, degeneration of the intervertebral disc, constipation, diabetes or stress on the spine
The main symptoms of sciatica
Sciatica differs from other forms of back pain in that a person has 2 sciatic nerves, and pain is traditionally noted in only one of them.
Pain with sciatica is traditionally a “shooting” character, like an electric shock. In addition, there may be a burning sensation in the leg or “pins and needles”. The severity of pain can be from mild to intense. Some patients may have pain in one part of the leg, and numbness with tingling in another part of the same leg.
Sometimes, in addition to pain, muscle weakness may be noted.
Treatment of neuritis
It is carried out with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products in order to relieve pain. In cases where conservative treatment of sciatica does not eliminate the pain syndrome, one has to resort to surgical intervention.