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Sciatic Nerve Pinch

Updated on August 19, 2009

Sciatica is neuralgia of the sciatic nerve. Which causes pain along the course of the nerve. Sometimes the pain is accompanied by numbness or tingling along the course of the nerve or by weakness in the muscles of the foot or leg.

The pain may be caused by:

  • pressure
  • inflammation
  • disease
  • compression
  • trauma

Compression may be due to arthritis of the spine, to so-called slipped disk, or to an injury.

Inflammation may be due to a true neuritis of the sciatic nerve.

Pressure may be due to roots from bony or cartilaginous deformities of the lumbar spines, as in arthritis, a displaced spinal disc or from spinal growths.

Pelvic growths or inflammatory conditions may also cause sciatica from pressure on the nerve trunk or from its involvement in the disease process.

Trauma to the roots of the nerve in the sacral portion of the spinal cord can also cause a sciatic nerve pinch.

The pain of sciatica generally follows the course of the nerve, traveling from the lower back into the buttocks, through the pelvic region, and down the back of the thigh. It then follows the branches of the sciatic nerve, which extends down the lower leg into the foot. The pain distribution is that of the nerve, and is most marked in the back of the thigh, the calf, and the ankle. In severe cases there is weakness of the leg and muscle wasting, together with diminished or absent knee and ankle reflexes. Tingling and unusual feelings sometimes occur with the pain, and there may be associated muscle weakness.

The treatment of sciatica depends on its cause. Symptomatic relief includes rest, the administration of analgesics, and the application of heat.

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