Back pain is the largest cause of disability in the UK, with lower back pain accounting for more than 10 percent of the total disability of the UK population. Sciatica is where the sciatic nerve, which starts in your lower back and can travel down to your hip or leg, is irritated or compressed. Express.co.uk explains how to get rid of sciatica.
Sciatica normally happens when a herniated disk (bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine) compresses part of the nerve.
This tends to happen when your spine changes as you age, or there’s excess stress on your spine due to obesity.
It can happen as a result of too much heavy lifting or a sedentary lifestyle.
This compression causes inflammation, pain, and some numbness.
The pain differs from person to person, and people will experience sciatica in different places.
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How do you know if you have sciatica?
According to the NHS, if you have sciatica your bottom, back of your leg, or feet and toes may feel painful, tingling, numb, or weak.
Normally the pain in your bum, legs and feet are worse than the pain in your back.
The pain is often described as a stabbing, burning or shooting sensation.
The tingling you might feel probably feels a bit like pins and needles.
Sciatica normally affects just one side of your body rather.
You might feel different sensations in different parts of one body part. For example, numbness in one part of your leg and tingling in another.
The symptoms may get worse when you move, sneeze or cough.
However, exercise may really help to speed up your recovery.
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How to get rid of sciatica
Sciatica normally gets better in four to six weeks, but it can last longer.
If your pain lasts longer than this or gets worse, you need to see your GP right away.
Get immediate medical care if you have sudden severe pain in your lower back or leg and numbness or muscle weakness in your leg.
You should also treat it as an emergency if the pain comes after a violent injury such as a traffic accident, or you have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder.
If you have mild sciatica, you have to wait for it to heal.
Your GP may suggest exercises and stretches to speed up your recovery, such as pigeon pose or spinal stretches.
You may also be prescribed painkillers to help with the nerve pain, or be sent to physiotherapy.
Exercising regularly and maintaining proper posture when sitting helps to prevent sciatica from reoccurring.
One exercise to try is Sciatic Nerve Flossing.
Sit in a chair with your back straight, knees hip-width apart.
Keep your left leg on the floor and slowly raise your right leg straight out infront of you with your foot flexed.
At the same time, extend your neck so you are looking up at the ceiling.
Repeat this movement over and over and then swap legs.
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