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SciaticaThe sciatic nerve is the longest and widest single nerve in the human body.


It originates in the low back and runs through a number of muscles in the buttock area, down the back of the leg and calf, ending in the foot. When this nerve is compromised in the form of sciatica, it can create an excruciating amount of pain and its effects can be quite debilitating.
Sciatica usually manifests as sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the entire length of the leg due to an impingement in the nerve. Those who suffer from sciatica report anything from mild discomfort to a complete inability to walk because of it.
Because the course the sciatic nerve takes is so long, there are many areas it can be potentially compressed along the way. Most often, the nerve impingement occurs in the lower back area where the nerve exits the spinal column or in the buttock area where the layers of muscles are particularly dense and multi-layered. Wherever there is impingement there can be pain.
Sciatica is most commonly caused by an intervertebral disc herniation, brought on by some kind of trauma to the spine. It can also develop due to poor posture, falls, and overall lack of exercise and fitness.
While many patients find that the pain from their sciatica subsides with rest and gentle stretching, it will almost always reoccur. Some common treatments for sciatica include ice, heat, ultrasound, and over the counter medications. These methods may temporarily relieve patients from pain, but they do not address the problem that caused the pain in the first place.



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