All you need to know about the sciatic nerve - Women Tips

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Who has not had problems with his sciatic nerve may never come to know exactly where it is and what it does, but those suffering from inflammation in the main nerve of the lower limbs understand well the discomfort it may cause.

What is?

The sciatic nerve, also called sciatic nerve controls the hip joints, knees and ankles, in addition to the muscles of the legs and feet. This nerve can be considered the largest in the human body, and extends from the fourth and fifth vertebrae of the lumbar spine to the knee, branching out from there in the various muscles tendons, until you reach the foot.

There is a difference between the terms "sciatic" and "sciatica". While "sciatic" nerve is the name as "sciatica" is the name given to the symptom of pain at the site. Other names given to this pain is "sciatica" and "sciatica".


Among the many possible causes of sciatic nerve compression, followed by pain, some of the major ones are herniated disc, trauma originating accident, tumor, muscle syndrome responsible for the rotation of the thigh, osteoarthritis, stenosis, lumbar spine and sliding vertebrae pressure originating fractures.


The Dilson Bortolanza physical educator also suffers from the problem, and said that while sciatica is very pronounced and easily identified, certain characteristics can help you detect the source of the problem. Are they:

  • Irradiation of pain, lumbar spine towards legs;
  • decreased muscle strength, with a consequent increase in pain after long periods "backing up" on the legs (standing, driving or during physical exercises, for example);
  • numbness or decreased reflexes in the affected limbs;
  • increased pain at night, during periods of cold weather or when the patient coughs and sneezes.


If you are suspicious that the pain you feel may be being caused by a change (inflammation or compression) in the sciatic nerve, the ideal is to find a trusted doctor so he can make the diagnosis.

Dr. Drauzio Varella, on its website, explains that "history (survey of the patient's clinical history) and physical examination to identify the compromised nerve roots are important elements recognized for the diagnosis of sciatica. As appropriate, imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan and MRI can provide data to help confirm the diagnosis and institute treatment. "


Since it is a problem with many possible causes, it is understandable that the treatments should also be determined according to these causes. During the crisis, however, the professional recommendation will probably be of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, which allow the reduction or cancellation of the pain felt by the patient.

Also according to the information provided by Varella, "research shows that as soon as symptoms allow, it makes no difference gradually return to physical activity or stay in bed until the pain disappears completely."

The doctor also said that "active and passive physical therapy, weight loss, postural re-education and physical activity (walking and stretching, for example) respecting the limitations of each patient are fundamental not only to promote nerve decompression, but as well as to prevent crises. Surgery should only be given in exceptional cases and properly assessed by the specialist physician. "