Sciatica or sciatic neuralgia is a commoncondition in which one of the spinal nerve roots of the sciatic nerve is compressed resultingin lower back, buttock and leg pain. Sciatic nerve is a large nerve derived from 5 spinalnerve roots: L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. It runs from the lumbar spine through the buttockdown the leg and the foot on the posterior aspect. There is one sciatic nerve on eachside of the body. Typically, only one side of the body is affected.A typical sciatica pain is described as a sharp shooting pain in the lower back, downthe buttock, thigh and leg on one side of the body. There may also be numbness, burningand tingling sensations. The pain can get
worse with sitting, moving, sneezing, or coughing.The patterns of pain depend on which nerve root is compressed, and follow the dermatomedistribution. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniatedspinal disc. The spinal disc is a soft elastic cushion that sits in between the vertebraeof the spine. With age, the discs become rigid and may crack, the gellike center of thedisc may protrude out and become a herniation outside the normal boundaries of the disc.Disc herniation presses on the nerve root as it exits the spine.In majority of the cases the condition resolves by itself after a few weeks of rest and conservativetreatment. Pain relief, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs and muscle relaxants may be prescribed.Stretching exercises and physical therapy may be recommended.Surgery may be needed if the pain doesn't go away after 3 months or more of conservativetreatments. The herniated disc may be removed in a procedure called discectomy. Or, in anotherprocedure called laminotomy, part of the bone of the vertebrae may be cut to make room forthe nerve.
Spine Anatomy Interactive Interconnected complex of bones
the spine is an interconnected complexof bones nerves muscles tendons and ligaments any of which can becomedamaged and cause pain neurological symptoms or loss of mobility thevertebrae are the bony building blocks of the spine there are seven cervical vertebrae inthe neck vertebrae in the upper back and five lumbar vertebrae in the lower backeach vertebral segment is comprised of a cylindershaped bone in the front of thespine called the vertebral body a soft cartilage disc between each vertebra andpaired fourset joints in the back each
segment is named for its upper and lowervertebra such as the c6 c7 segment the bones in the spinal column surround andprotect the spinal cord which runs behind the vertebral bodies in a canalfrom the neck down to the top of the lumbar spine in the lumbar spine thenerves branch out from the spinal canal and exit the spine in a pattern thatresembles a horse's tail called the county equina at each segment spinalnerve roots exit the spine through holes in the back of the vertebrae calledFreeman any compression of the nerve root in the fur aminal opening which canoccur due to bone spurs herniated or
generated discs or facet joint problemscan cause pain and possible neurological symptoms to radiate along the path ofthe nerve these symptoms are commonly called radiculopathy and leg symptomsmay also be called sciatica in between the vertebrae the intervertebral discsserve as shock absorbers and help facilitate movement of the spine thesediscs can to generate over time and become a source of pain a conditioncalled degenerative disc disease the soft inner core of the disk can extrudecalled a herniated disc and inflamed a nearby nerve root pain radiates alongthe path of the affected nerve and into
the arm or leg the sacrum connects thebase of the spine with the pelvis at the sacroiliac joints if these joints are too loose or tootight it can cause lower back pain due to sacroiliac joint dysfunction belowthe sacrum is the coccyx or tail bone which consists of several small bonesany damage to this area can cause tailbone pain the entire spine is knittogether by a series of interconnected ligaments and tendons that help supportand stabilize the spine while allowing a great deal of flexibility