Sciatica Nerve Pain—Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

backpain-woman-couch.jpgWhat is sciatica nerve pain?

Sciatica nerve pain is caused when sciatic nerve is pinched by a herniated muscle. It starts from the lower back and travels down the buttocks to the leg. Sciatica pain is the same thing as sciatica back pain or sciatica nerve pain.


Sciatica pain occurs due to the herniation or bulging out of the lumber disc that compresses the root of the sciatic nerve.


In most cases the sciatica nerve pain starts from the posterior thigh and radiates through the knee and goes down to the lower leg and the foot.

Sciatica pain often accompanies the lower back pain and is much worse than it. This pain usually occurs more in case of those who already have a history of the lower back pain.

If sciatica becomes chronic, it tends to get localized on the buttocks and the back of the leg. The patient feels the pain even when he sits, stands, sneezes or has a bowel movement.  He feels comfortable only when he lies down.


Sometimes the back pain suffered by the people who participate in sports, recreational activities or lift some heavy objects is mistaken for sciatica pain. Sciatica pain is caused by inflammation of the nerve root while back pain is caused by strain on the muscles.

The doctors, therefore, conduct nerve root tension tests to confirm the occurrence of sciatica. This is done by recreating the pain by moving the body or stretching the leg so as to cause a compression of the sciatic nerve. If the patient feels pain during the tests, he is diagnosed to be suffering from sciatica.


Sometimes the patients spontaneously get relief from sciatica pain, but those who do not should first try conservative treatment. You should take rest for a few days and avoid doing strenuous physical activities. You   can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines alone with physical therapy that involves stretching and strengthening exercises.

Obstinate and severe cases of sciatica pain require attention from the specialists and may have to be treated with surgery.

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