Fix Sciatica - How To Treat Sciatica Pain

Sciatica and The Sciatic Nerve

Sciatic nerve

The sciatic nerve has gained a bad reputation for itself, by being the cause of terrible pain in the back and leg. This has even led to its naming after the real condition it causes and that is sciatica. Sciatica is caused when a nerve in your back gets pinched, leading to pain in your lumbar spine, legs, feet and /or buttocks. Complaints about sciatic nerve pain are often misdiagnosed, as the main theory to explain this type of condition is not totally reliable.  

When the root of the spinal nerve freeing the neuroforaminal openings of the vertebral bones, it can suffer from physical compression. This is known as radiculopathy, compressive neuropathy or radicular pain condition. Another condition called pseudo-sciatica is defined as pain in the leg and back, which is not brought about by a spinal problem. Common varieties of this condition include sacroiliac pain and piriformis syndrome.

The main basis for diagnosing sciatica is the pinching off of a root nerve by some spinal structure. The structure could be a ruptured or extruded disc, a herniated disc or an osteophyte. Very often, these have been diagnosed, as the source causing pain in many patients. However, most of these conditions are proved to be asymptomatic and innocent by anatomical evidence.  A nerve root, in order to get affected it would require the whole foraminal space to be closed. This is, however, rarely the case. The structure may sometimes merely touch the nerve without leading to compression, or might not touch on the nerve. Another fact known about sciatica is that if the nerve root is continuously compressed, it can lead to dysfunction of that neurological structure. This will result is objective numbness and not the subjective numbness, pain and tingling often experienced by those suffering from a sciatic condition.

Now days, many patients are being diagnosed of pseudo- sciatica. Sacroiliac joint pain is wrongly being termed as sacroiliac joint dysfunction or sacroiliitis. This joint is in fact one of the toughest  joints and rarely degenerates or injures. Many doctors believe it comes about after an injury caused to the piriformis muscle in the buttocks.  Though this diagnosis is not validated, it is often wrongly arrived at; when in fact the condition could be idiopathic sciatica as well as simple back pain.

Patients complaining of sciatica are told that some structure in the spine is pinching or compressing the sciatic nerve. This, anatomically speaking, is not possible, since, the sciatic nerve does not join into the spine column directly. This nerve is in fact the largest nerve in the body which consists of branches from S1, S2, S3, L4 and L5 spinal nerve roots. Most often, the symptoms do not justify the diagnosis made, and yet, spinal problems are wrongly considered as the cause. To give an example, a patient may suffer from pain in the leg, lower back and buttocks. This pain is diagnosed as being caused by a herniated disc. But the symptoms are too many to be explained by one herniation, because the nerve root doesn't serve any function in many of the areas which experience pain. Therefore it is a wrong diagnosis; moreover, such misjudgements are common leading to unsuccessful treatment of sciatica around the world.
The condition of sciatica is often considered to be chronic and unresponsive to treatment. This is mainly because of wrong diagnosis, unnecessary surgeries and ignorance of doctors towards this condition.