What is Sciatica?
Before we begin, it must be noted that ‘sciatica’ is a layman’s term used to describe a common back problem in the lumbar spine. Due to this feature, it is not a clinical definition of any specific condition. Sciatica refers to the pain associated with the sciatic nerve, which is the strongest and largest nerve in the body.
Where is the sciatic nerve located and what are its features?
In this section we’ll be looking in part at the anatomical structure of the nerve in order to better understand why the nerve pain is being triggered.
It is a large nerve that is well-built and can sustain a hanging weight of 700kg (the weight of 7 adult men) before breaking. The roots of the Sciatic nerve control motor, sensory and mixed functions of our bodies via the bones, muscles and skin.
It is divided into two sections and each one of them passes down from the spine, through the hips, pelvis, buttocks, and down the back of each leg. Although in common literature it is regarded as being one nerve, it can be classified as a group of nerves that branch out on both sides of your lower body.
Since none of the nerve roots correspond physiologically, different types of pain can be produced; e.g. a dull ache is felt in bone, numbness (acroparisthesia) in skin, and sharp pain in muscles – and of course these symptoms can overlap.
The Sciatic nerve is in close proximity to adjacent discs (a 1.2-1.5 mm distance) which is why so-called discongenic pain can arise. This pain, however, is caused by the tethering or rubbing of the nerve sleeve, and not by the discs themselves, while irritation or compression of the nerve doesn’t necessarily cause any pain.
As a result of mechanical friction affecting any of the spinal nerve roots, the condition can become inflammatory, which is extremely painful. If not treated properly, this will lead to scarification in the area around the inflamed sleeve, which in time, would result in devascularisation (reduced blood supply to the veins).
In this, the body then reduces the supply of blood to certain veins if parts of the body are scarred and no longer require it as much as when the tissue was healthy. This process, which occurs as a result of the condition, and also as a consequence of surgery, often produces referred pain along those nerves which are affected. In other words, if the issue is not addressed, more complications can arise with the passage of time.
How does it manifest?
One of the most common causes of sciatica is pinching of the sciatic nerve, which leads to sciatic pain. This can occur due to tightening of the piriformis muscle, which can squeeze the sciatic nerve, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, or other mechanical factors. It can cause radicular pain in the lower back, which can either occur locally or spread to other parts of the lower body, such as the legs, potentially leading to leg pain.
Other sciatica symptoms such as numbness and weakness in the spine or legs can arise. However, these symptoms can overlap with other conditions, where conditions such as cauda equina syndrome pain and sciatica pain can be mistaken for one another. As such, it is imperative to obtain a correct diagnosis before proceeding with any treatments.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosing sciatica or other spine conditions starts with your doctor carrying out a physical examination of the affected area. If he/she discovers something that represents a cause for concern, you might be referred to have further tests to either confirm your condition, or to rule out other possible causes of your pain.
Before we look at the available options to treat sciatica, it is important to acknowledge that regardless of your medical condition, be it spine related or not, the best course of action is to start with the least invasive option possible and work your way up from there.
This is recommended in order to avoid any possible side effects, that can sometimes cause more complications that the pain itself did. Seeking long-term pain relief should be the goal in treating sciatica, however, it must be kept in mind that the solution should be as natural as possible.
Treatment options for sciatica include:
- Physiotherapy to decompress the spine and to free the entrapped nerve
- Anti-inflammatory medication and pain relievers for temporary relief
- Massage of the affected area
- Getting an epidural steroid injection
- Lastly, if it’s a severe case, surgery may be considered as an option
Can Backrack Help?
As sciatica cases are most commonly caused by the trapping of the sciatic nerve, the best solution is to free the sciatica nerve from the structure that trapped it. The Backrack stretches out your spine, allowing for a gentle movement of the spinal components to take place. The stretching (more commonly referred to as spinal decompression) of the backbone thus allows for the sciatic nerve to gradually shift from the spot where it has become pinched.
Take a look at the video below to get a detailed understanding of how the Backrack works on the deeper tissues in the back to alleviate sciatica pain through simple exercises.
Backrack Treats and Prevents Sciatica
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that your treatment on the Backrack will require you to be dedicated and carry out the instructions as per the manual and videos included to get optimum results.
The Backrack System allows the patient to be in full control while working on their cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. This treatment can be performed from the comfort of the patient’s own home and requires no medical supervision.
If you are looking for a safe and unique way for the treatment and prevention of back pain, look no further! Be in control, safely and try the Backrack System at home.
Author: Spinal Backrack