"Trapped Nerve" Sciatica
Trapped Nerve Sciatica occurs as a result of construction or compression of the sciatic nerve, or the spinal nerves which combine to give rise to the sciatic nerve.
The spinal nerves of travel down the spinal cord, and exit the spinal cord through a opening between the vertebrae called the intervertebral foramina. These nerves also continue past the final section of the spinal cord, which is located at about the level of L1 (top of the lumbar spine), and exit through the last lumbar vertebra and the holes in the sacrum (sacral foramina). these Last spinal nerves combine to form one of the largest nerves in the body - the sciatic nerve. This sciatic begins near the hip and travels down the thigh and into the feet, with one major branch just below the knee. The sciatic nerve, on its way through the lower back, though, buttocks, and leg, travels through and between muscle, bone, and soft tissue (ligaments and tendons). If the sciatic nerve passes through bone or soft tissue which is inflamed, irritated, or degenerated, the nerve may become squeezed or constricted. This pinching or squeezing of the sciatic nerve may be called "Pinched Nerve" Sciatica, or "Trapped Nerve" Sciatica. This compression of the sciatic nerve is not simply an annoying problem that may cause you some pain or discomfort. The spinal nerves and the nerves of the spinal cord are the supply line to operate the autonomic, motor, and sensory nervous systems in our body. These systems may be disrupted in the short run by compression of the sciatic nerve, which accounts for the pain, sensory loss, and muscle weakness that occurs as symptoms of sciatica. In the long run, our sensory and motor systems may be permanently affected by the continuous entrapment of the fibers of the sciatic nerve. Let's take a closer look at "Trapped Nerve" Sciatica, and how to recognize, diagnose, and treat it.
The term sciatica described the symptoms experienced in the lower back, hip, buttock, thigh, leg, and foot that occur as a result of a pinching of the sciatic nerve. The compression of the sciatic nerve may occur due to a degenerative condition near the spine itself, or it may occur further from the spine as a result to inflammation or strain to the muscles that travel in parallel to the sciatic nerve. Common symptoms of sciatica include lower back pain, as well as possible weakness, numbness, and tingling in the leg and foot. Because each hip and leg is supplied with its own sciatic nerve, the symptoms are usually only experienced in one leg. The pain and related symptoms may be centralized around the area where the sciatic nerve is "trapped", but the entire leg and lower back may also be affected.
Causes of Sciatica: Though years of careful research, doctors have managed to map the human body to identify which specific spinal nerves supply specific regions of the body. From this research, we are able to accurately predict which spinal nerves have become compressed based on the signs and symptoms associated with the patient's lower back pain and sciatic condition. We know that the weakness or neurologic symptoms (e.g. numbness, weakness) in the inner upper thigh points to weakness in the L1 spinal nerve. Weakness and numbness of the muscles and skin of the middle thigh indicate nerve entrapment of the L2 and L3 nerve roots. Numbness, burning and weakness experienced from the top of the outer thigh and down through the bottom of the inside of the lower leg indicate compression of the L4 nerve root. L5 nerve compression may manifest as pain and weakness/numbness from the top of the outer thigh, through most of the outer leg, and through to the inside of the foot. Compression of the S1 (Sacral) nerve root may be indicated by pain and weakness on the outside of the foot.