Acute pain in the lumbar region, radiating to the buttock through the back of the thigh to the calf and sometimes even the foot, is an undoubted sign that we are dealing with an attack of sciatica. Sometimes you only need one sudden movement to feel severe pain. It is practically impossible to perform daily activities with a sciatica attack, so in this case it is really better to prevent than to treat. How to deal with sciatica attack and what can be done to avoid it in the future?
What is sciatica?
Sciatica, also called ischialgia, is manifested by sudden pain in the lumbar region, which can radiate to the buttock, the posterior surface of the thigh to the calf and even the foot. The pain can be very severe, causing numbness, muscle contractures and problems with movement of the limbs. Symptoms increase when cerebrospinal fluid pressure increases, so sneezing or laughing can be very painful. The cause of these ailments is the compression of the sciatic nerve or nerve roots, from which this nerve arises. For this reason, sciatica is also called “nerve root attack”.
If we are not sure if the cause of the pain is sciatica, you can perform the so-called Laségue test. Lie on your back and lift your upright leg slowly. If at a point of elation below 45° there is pain in the lumbar (radiating to the leg), we can talk about an attack of sciatica.
Causes of sciatica
The sciatica attack is mainly the result of previous negligence. The spine has certainly been sending signals before, indicating increasing problems. The most common cause of sciatica is discopathy, which is often the initial stage of degenerative disease of the spine.
The spine is made up of vertebrae and intervertebral discs, colloquially called discs. Thanks to them, the spine is elastic and shock-resistant. However, when the discs begin to move beyond the axis of the spine, they can oppress the nerve root, and this leads to the formation of inflammation, which can be a source of pain.
What can cause the drive to move? Usually it is a gradual process, characterized by degeneration of the disc tissue and gradual deformation of it. There may then be a so-called hernia of the disk. Sometimes, however, too much exercise or rapid movement is enough. Sciatica is also a common problem for pregnant women, especially in the last trimester, when the spine is already heavily overloaded. Obese people are also at risk.
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