Sciatica is often characterized by one or more symptoms including constant pain in one side of the buttock or leg, worsened pain upon sitting, leg pain that is often described as tingling or burning, weakness or numbness with associated difficulty moving a leg or foot, and/or sharp pains when standing up or walking. Sciatic pain may vary in frequency and intensity as symptoms range from irritating and infrequent to incapacitating and constant.
Sciatica in and of itself is not a medical diagnosis; rather, it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Lumbar disc herniations, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease are among the most common underlying medical conditions that cause compression of the sciatic nerve root and lead to sciatic pain. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and is comprised mainly of the 3rd sacral nerve and 4th lumbar nerve. Your sciatica nerve runs through your buttock into the back of the leg and into the foot, making it the longest nerve in the human body. A very common cause of sciatica is called piriformis syndrome in which the piriformis muscle in your buttock becomes overactive and compresses the sciatic nerve. The piriformis is used daily in activities such as walking and stabilization when standing and may become tight if not properly treated.
If you feel symptoms of sciatica, it is important first to ice your low back and buttock to reduce any inflammation that may be irritating the sciatic nerve. This may help to dull your symptoms until you can get treatment. The painful presentation that sciatica is known for makes treatment fairly tricky and often takes more than one remedy to resolve symptoms. Use a foam roller across the piriformis or sit on a tennis ball to help reduce tension in the muscle and decrease compression on the nerve itself. Manual massage and trigger point therapy to the piriformis muscle is extremely beneficial in the reduction of sciatic pain when the cause is piriformis syndrome. Chiropractic adjustments specific to the 4th lumbar vertebra and sacrum help relieve pain symptoms more quickly when coupled with the following home care remedies.