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What is sciatica?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2019 | Workplace Injuries |

Many people experience lower back pain as a result of their professions, which can lead to sciatica. Sciatica is a painful condition that has numerous causes, including spinal stenosis and herniated discs. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information on sciatica so you can take the proper steps to get relief. 

The sciatic nerve starts at the lower back and runs down each leg. When this nerve is compressed, a group of painful symptoms emerges. People experiencing sciatica often have pain that starts in the lower back and radiates the length of one leg, as having pain in both legs is rare with this condition. Some people feel a dull ache while others experience intense pain. Pain can occur when standing, sitting, or lying down. Pain can also occur with a sudden movement. Muscle weakness and a numb feeling are also common with sciatica. 

Some people are more likely to experience sciatica than others. Along with things like body weight and age, what you do for a living can also increase your risk of sciatica. For example, commercial drivers tend to experience this type of lower back pain frequently. People who constantly lift heavy objects at work or those who sit for many hours a day also have a greater risk of developing this condition. 

The good news is that sciatica can sometimes be mitigated by leading a healthy lifestyle and exercising. At-home remedies, such as hot and cold compresses, are also good for providing relief. If symptoms are severe, you’ll need to seek out medical help. You may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications, which reduce swelling around the sciatic nerve. When significant muscle weakness or numbness is an issue, you may need physical therapy or even surgery to restore proper function.