Pinching of the sciatic nerve is a fairly common problem. The main symptom of this pathology is severe pain, which significantly worsens the quality of a person’s life, constantly worries him, and prevents him from moving normally. In the absence of therapy, such a violation can lead to unpleasant consequences. That is why many people are interested in additional information about this pathology. What are its causes and symptoms? Is it possible to treat the sciatic nerve at home? Is it possible to prevent the development of a similar disease?
What is a jamming?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. This fiber is formed from the last two lumbar and all sacral spinal nerves. It is the sciatic nerve that is responsible for the innervation of the knee and hip joints.
Pinching of the sciatic nerve is a pathology for which the term sciatica is used in modern medicine. Such a violation is accompanied by compression of the nerve fiber in the musculoskeletal tunnel and its subsequent inflammation. As a rule, nerve damage is unilateral and is most often diagnosed in males, especially when it comes to men whose work is associated with constant physical exertion.
The main causes of pinching
Infringement and neuritis of the sciatic nerve can develop under the influence of many factors. As a rule, a similar pathology occurs against the background of other, already existing diseases of the musculoskeletal system. It:
- intervertebral hernia in the lumbar region (the protruding part of the intervertebral disk at the exit squeezes the sciatic nerve);
- osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine (due to a change in the thickness of the disks, the nerve is squeezed between the vertebrae);
- any spinal injuries that are accompanied by displacement of the vertebrae, including sprains and subluxations;
- degenerative spondylolister;
- lumbosacral spondylosis;
- the presence of spinal tumors, which, depending on the site, can also put pressure on the nerve.
Other causes include squeezing of nerve fibers with spasmodic muscles (this is observed during physical overstrain, muscle inflammation or injury). And sciatica may develop during pregnancy, in particular, during the third trimester.
Are there any risk factors?
Of course, in addition to the main reasons, there are factors that increase the likelihood of pinching.
- Hypothermia of the lower back can cause inflammation and pinching. Quite often people go to the doctor complaining, they say, "to chill" the sciatic nerve. Exposure to cold can actually aggravate the situation.
- Sciatica may develop with herpes zoster in the projection of the branches of the sciatic nerve.
- Risk factors are also overweight.
- Inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs also contribute to the development of neuritis.
- Damage to the sciatic nerve often develops in people with diabetes mellitus, since such a disease disrupts the normal nutrition of nerve fibers.
- Also among the risk factors include tuberculous spinal lesions, brucellosis, polyradiculoneuritis, and multiple sclerosis.
- Excessive exercise, stress, disruption of normal blood circulation, disruptions in metabolic processes, alcoholism — all of which increase the risk of neuritis and, in particular, it defeats the sciatic nerve.
Pinch of the sciatic nerve: symptoms
In fact, sciatica is accompanied by fairly characteristic signs. How to recognize the infringement of the sciatic nerve? His symptoms are severe pain in the hip. As a rule, the discomfort is localized on the back of the thigh, but can also spread to the lower back, lower leg and even reach the foot.
At the initial stages, the pain can be not strong, but as the inflammatory process develops, it becomes acute, piercing, cutting. Sometimes the pain is so strong that a person can lose consciousness. Discomfort increases after physical activity, although sometimes even slow walking, sitting and standing aggravate the patient's condition.
Naturally, the pain affects the mobility of man. First of all, the gait is disturbed, as the patient tries not to rely on the sore leg. Often there is a burning sensation and tingling in the foot, increased sweating of the feet. As the disease progresses, it becomes difficult for a person to bend the leg at the knee, turn the foot, move his toes.
What diagnostic methods are used?
In fact, to determine the presence of infringement and inflammation of the sciatic nerve is quite simple, since the clinical picture is in fact very characteristic. However, some additional research will be required to determine the exact cause. If this is not done, then the likelihood of re-pinching is high.
To begin with, an x-ray examination of the spine is carried out, which will help identify bone pathologies, including displacement of the vertebrae, the presence of osteophytes, etc. As far as possible, it is recommended to undergo a computer or magnetic resonance imaging, as this is a more accurate technique that allows you to register even the smallest changes in bone and cartilage structure of the spinal column. If a tumor is suspected, a radioisotope scan of the spine is performed. If there is reason to believe that the incarceration is caused by inflammation of the pelvic organs, an appropriate ultrasound examination is appointed.
The decision on whether to treat the sciatic nerve at home or in the hospital, under the constant supervision of medical staff, takes a doctor. Immediately after the examination, the specialist will select the most effective drugs. The main group of drugs is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, in particular, “Ketanov”, “Ibuprofen”, “Nurofen”, “Denebol”. These drugs help slow the development of the inflammatory process, as well as quickly relieve pain. By the way, you can use the same drugs, but in the form of ointments and creams (Diclofenac, Voltaren, Finalgon).
Also shown is the intake of vitamins of group B, which restore tissue trophism, help restore the functioning of nerve fibers. Neurubin and Milgamma are considered quite effective.
With a strong spasm of the muscles of the legs, buttocks and back, medications are used that help eliminate this problem, in particular, these are “Sirdalud” and “Mydocalm”. With very strong sharp pains, novocainic blockade can be performed at the initial stages.
Other stages of pinch therapy
Medications help relieve pain. But sciatica requires complex therapy. Patients definitely need special physiotherapy, which will help to restore mobility. The complex of the most suitable exercises will be selected by the doctor.
In addition, various methods of physiotherapy are used, including phonophoresis, paraffin baths, magnetic laser therapy, UHF and electrophoresis with novocaine, but spay or other drugs. The course of therapeutic massage will also positively affect the patient's condition. Outside of exacerbation, patients are recommended to undergo a sanatorium-resort treatment from time to time whenever possible.
Treatment of the sciatic nerve at home
Of course, successful therapy requires an appropriate regimen. Treatment of the sciatic nerve at home should include proper nutrition. It is necessary for a while to abandon spicy, smoked, fatty and fried foods. It is advisable to use sparing liquid food, in particular, milk porridges, vegetable and meat soups - this will help avoid constipation, which only aggravate the situation.
In the acute phase of the disease, bed rest is necessary. The amount of movement should be minimal. Only after the pain subsides can one begin to walk and gradually, under the supervision of a physician, return to the usual rhythm of life.
Folk treatment of the sciatic nerve is also possible, but only with the permission of the doctor. Creams and ointments containing horse chestnut extract are considered quite effective, as they help relieve pain and relax muscles. Well help compresses from beeswax. First you need to warm it up, form a cake, which is then put on the thigh. From above it is recommended to cover it with polyethylene, cotton wool and a towel or a warm shawl, leaving it overnight. Procedures can be repeated every day for a week.
Very good help rubbing tincture of dandelion, spruce and pine buds — you can buy them at the pharmacy or make your own. And effective is cupping massage, which easily can be carried out even at home. Under the jar on the skin is recommended to apply anesthetic or anti-inflammatory ointment.
Are there effective preventive measures?
Today, many people are interested in questions about whether you can protect yourself from damage to such an integral part of the nervous system as the sciatic nerve. Treatment, injections, physiotherapeutic procedures - can all this be avoided?
In fact, there are no specific precautions. The optimal prevention consists in the timely detection of various diseases at risk and their qualitative treatment. In addition, experts recommend sleeping on a hard orthopedic mattress and monitor body weight. Also required is at least a minimal, but regular morning exercise. Heavy physical activity requires appropriate sports training.