General Practice 2022

Cytic nerve pain: what é, symptoms and how to relieve

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Cytic nerve pain: what é, symptoms and how to relieve
Cytic nerve pain: what é, symptoms and how to relieve

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body, being formed by several nerve roots that come out of the spine. The sciatic nerve starts at the end of the spine, passes through the glutes, back of the thigh and, when it reaches the knee, divides between the tibial and common fibular nerves, and reaches the feet. And it's all along the way that it can cause pain with a tingling sensation, twinges or electric shock.

When there is compression or inflammation of this nerve, sciatic pain arises which causes symptoms such as intense pain in the lower back, buttocks or legs, difficulty in keeping the spine upright and pain when walking. In these cases it is important to look for an orthopedist or physical therapist so that he can guide the appropriate treatment.

To cure the inflamed sciatic nerve, the treatment indicated by the orthopedist or physical therapist must be carried out, with medication, exercises, and sometimes physical therapy.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve are:

  • Pain in the lower back that radiates to the buttocks or one of the legs;
  • Back pain worse when sitting;
  • Sensation of electric shocks or burning sensation in the buttocks or leg;
  • Weakness in the leg on the affected side;
  • Tingling sensation in the leg.

Often these symptoms are associated with changes in the spine, such as herniated disc, spondylolisthesis or even osteoarthritis in the spine. For this reason, when the first symptoms appear, it is very important to consult an orthopedic doctor or a physical therapist, so that tests are carried out in the office and X-ray exams of the spine are carried out to assess whether it has any alteration that is compressing the sciatic nerve, giving rise to symptoms.

Online test to see if you have sciatica

If you think you may have an inflammation of the sciatic nerve, select your symptoms and know your chances:

  1. 1.Tingling pain, numbness or shock in the spine, buttocks, leg or sole of the foot. Yes No
  2. 2.Burning sensation, tingling or tired leg. Yes No
  3. 3.Weakness in one or both legs. Yes No
  4. 4.Pain that gets worse when standing still for too long. Yes No
  5. 5.Difficulty walking or staying in the same position for a long time. Yes No


Make an appointment with a specialist

How to confirm if it is sciatica

The diagnosis of sciatica can be made by the orthopedist or physical therapist based on the signs and symptoms presented.The test that consists of proving the alteration of the sciatic nerve and can be done in the office is: lie on your back and lift the stretched leg off the stretcher, if there is pain or tingling sensation, the test indicates sciatic compression. If there is pain in the other leg, this indicates a serious change in the spine, such as an extruded herniated disc, for example.

Imaging tests such as X-ray and MRI can be useful to evaluate the spine, helping to identify what is compressing the nerve. If the spine is he althy and un altered, the cause of sciatic pain must be muscle or fascia only, and the treatment is relatively simpler.

When there is suspicion that the nerve is really damaged, which rarely happens, only in case of serious accidents, it may be necessary to perform an electroneuromyogram, which is an exam that evaluates the functioning of the nerve itself.

How to relieve an inflamed sciatic nerve

Treatment for painful or inflamed sciatic nerves can be done with analgesics, anti-inflammatory pills, ointments, use of heat packs and physical therapy with specific exercises. The options are:

1. Remedies

The remedies indicated to fight sciatica can be Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, or stronger, morphine derivatives such as Tramadol, but a muscle relaxant and Diazepam can also be indicated by the orthopedist. But a more natural way to fight pain is to take vitamin B complex, as it improves the he alth of the body's nerves.

2. Massage

Massage with moisturizing cream or essential oils is one of the best home treatment options for an inflamed sciatic nerve because it relieves pain and improves movement, because it relaxes the muscles of the back, legs and buttocks, thus decreasing the nerve compression, but should preferably be performed by a massage therapist or physical therapist and does not exclude the need for treatment in the clinic.

3. Exercises

Rest makes the pain worse, as does staying in the same position for a long time, so light exercises are welcome. Initially, stretches that can be done with the person lying on their back and hugging their legs, for example, are more recommended.

When the pain subsides, after the first week of physical therapy, muscle strengthening exercises can be performed, such as: lying on your back, bending your knees and pressing a pillow between your legs and to work your back and spine, lie on your back, bend your knees and lift your hips and butt off the stretcher. These Clinical Pilates exercises are excellent options for curing sciatica because they strengthen the abdomen and spine. Strengthening your abs is a great trick to protect your spine. See how to do the most recommended exercises in this video:

4. Physiotherapy

In most cases, the treatment of inflammation or compression of the sciatic nerve involves physical therapy sessions with devices that reduce pain and inflammation and strengthening and stretching exercises, and manual techniques to mobilize and stretch the affected leg, improving the blood supply to the sciatic nerve itself and normalizing the tone of the gluteus and leg muscles.

In addition, it is also recommended to apply localized heat over the region to be treated, and to perform stretching exercises to stretch and relieve nerve compression. See other care and home options to treat sciatic nerve at Home Treatment for Sciatic Nerve.

Sometimes when these problems are associated with poor posture, the physical therapist may also recommend performing a treatment called Global Postural Reeducation - GPR, in which there is a correction of posture and stretching of the muscles responsible for the postural change.

5. Feed

During a sciatic crisis, one should prefer anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, garlic, onion, flaxseed, chia and sesame. But it is also important to reduce the consumption of foods that increase inflammation in the body, which are mainly processed meats such as sausage, sausage and bacon. Learn how to eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

6. Alternative treatment

In addition, there are other options that can also complete the treatment, which include performing Acupuncture and Reflexology sessions to relieve pain and discomfort. Another possibility is osteopathy, which consists of techniques that stretch the muscles, traction in order to crack the joints, being a good way to treat scoliosis, hyperlordosis and herniated discs that are usually involved in the cause of sciatica.

7. Spine surgery

It is reserved only for the most severe cases, when there is a herniated disc that does not improve with all the treatments mentioned above. In this case, the surgeon may decide to remove the vertebral disc and glue one vertebra to the other, for example.

How to keep the pain from coming back

To prevent a new attack of sciatica, you should:

  • Do regular stretches that stretch your leg muscles and spine. See some stretches you can do during your workday in 8 Stretches to Fight Back Pain at Work.
  • Avoid physical inactivity and regularly practice activities such as walking, Pilates or water aerobics that strengthen and stretch the muscles;
  • Try to maintain correct back posture even when sitting;
  • Always be within the ideal weight;
  • Keep the abdomen strong to protect the spine.

What causes sciatic nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain occurs when this nerve is compressed, which is common when a person has a herniated lumbar disc, especially between L4 or L5, a tightening of the canal where the spinal cord passes, a misalignment of a vertebra, or when there is an increase in the tonus and firmness of the gluteus, for example.

Women who practice physical activity at the gym and have a lot of work on their buttocks, may have sciatica because there has been an increase in tone or even if a contracture has developed in the gluteus, more specifically in the piriformis muscle.

About 8% of the world population suffers from sciatica because the nerve fibers in them pass through the piriformis muscle, and when it is very tense or contracted, they compress the nerve, leading to the appearance of pain in the form of of numbness, shock or tingling. Know how to identify piriformis syndrome.

Inflamed sciatic nerve in pregnancy

During pregnancy it is common for the sciatic nerve to be affected due to rapid weight gain, belly growth and change in the woman's center of gravity, which can lead to compression of this nerve. When this happens, the pregnant woman should look for a doctor or physical therapist, to start treatment and minimize the symptoms presented. Treatment can be done with stretching exercises, hot compresses and anti-inflammatory ointments to apply to the pain site.

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