Sciatica FAQ: Tingling, Burning, & Painful or Shock-Like Sensation

Sciatica FAQs

1. Sciatica FAQ: What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is the pain felt in the low back area because of irritation of the sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve starts from the nerve roots, then goes to the lumbar spinal cord, and extends to the buttocks, mostly affecting the lower extremities.

2. Sciatica FAQ: What are the symptoms of sciatica?

To answer this Sciatica FAQ, the first thing to tell you is that sciatica is not a disease or disorder itself that causes symptoms, it is a symptom. It derives its name from where it is located.

So to answer this Sciatica FAQ, the feeling of "sciatica" is a tingling, burning and generally painful or shock-like sensation that follows the path of the sciatic nerve, from the mid-portion of the buttock into the back of thigh and knee and continuing down the leg. It usually occurs due to an injury to the fibers of this nerve.

3. Sciatica FAQ: How do I know if I have sciatica?

This is another question often asked as a Sciatica FAQ. Sciatica is a sign of other conditions,  but the typical "signs" of sciatica include pain or weakness and/or changes in sensation along the path of the sciatic nerve. These changes in sensation may include sharp jolts of pain like electrical shocks, tingling feelings, numbness or changes in temperature perception, such as feeling increased warmth or coolness in the affected hip or leg. In sciatica, these feelings follow the route of the sciatic nerve:

  • from the mid-buttock area into the back of the thigh
  • from the back of the thigh to the back of the knee
  • from the back of the knee to the lower leg

The pain may continue down the inside or the outside of the lower calf, ending in the toes or behind the inner ankle in the sole of the foot. Pain in the lower back may also be present.

4. Sciatica FAQ: I think I have sciatica. Should I see my doctor?

If you have symptoms that are interfering with your daily life and routine, a proper diagnosis is necessary. A physician will be able to determine the cause of your symptoms and suggest the right treatment to help you.

It's important to consult with your doctor as soon as you feel like the symptoms of sciatica is making it hard for you to move and proceed with day to day tasks.

5. Sciatica FAQ: Why do people get sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when the fibers of the sciatic nerve are injured. This injury can occur in several places:

  • In the cauda equina: where the sciatic nerve exits the spinal canal (cauda equina)
  • In the neuroforamina: where the sciatic nerve fibers travel through openings in the spinal column
  • In the lumbosacral plexus: a bundle of nerves near the hip
  • Below the piriformis muscle: Where the sciatic nerve leaves the pelvic area, low in the buttock area (Piriformis Syndrome) or along the leg

6. Sciatica FAQ: What causes injury to the sciatic nerve?

This Sciatica FAQ has many answers:

  • Ruptured intervertebral discs: This is the most common cause of sciatica
  • Piriformis syndrome: Compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle
  • Pressure on the fibers of the sciatic nerve caused by narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Spondylolisthesis: one vertebra slips out of alignment and presses on the sciatic nerve
  • Tumors: this is rarely a cause of sciatica
  • Sacroiliac Joint Derangement: bones in the lower back and buttocks become misaligned. This rarely causes symptoms such as tingling, numbness or weakness, but it often causes low back pain

7. Sciatica FAQ: How is sciatica treated?

This Sciatica FAQ also has several answers. Over-the-counter pain medications are effective for treating most cases of sciatica. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, help to reduce the inflammation as well as relieve pain. Other answers to this Sciatica FAQ may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise and special positionings such as Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Injections of anesthetics, steroids or Botulinum toxins
  • Surgery
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga

Changing environmental factors may be beneficial as an answer to the Sciatica FAQ. For example, desk height, or the firmness of a mattress may need to be adjusted. "Mind over matter" techniques are also sometimes helpful.

8. Sciatica FAQ: Can sciatica be cured?

Usually, the cause of sciatica can be identified and the condition alleviated. Communication with your physician is essential. Be sure to ask for information and notify your doctor of any changes in your condition.

Pain caused by sciatica can be alleviated, however, drugs and medications can't cure sciatica. Drugs prescribed by doctors and specialists simply treat the symptoms but doesn't have any effect on the underlying cause. The pain you feel may diminish or disappear for some time, but as long as the back problems continue, anything can trigger another jolt of symptoms.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers