Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.
Causes--Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae. More rarely, the nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by a disease such as diabetes.
Symptoms-Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it's especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.
The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually only one side of your body is affected.
Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.
Risk factors-Risk factors for sciatica include:
Age. Age-related changes in the spine, such as herniated disks and bone spurs, are the most common causes of sciatica.
Obesity. By increasing the stress on your spine, excess body weight can contribute to the spinal changes that trigger sciatica.
Occupation. A job that requires you to twist your back, carry heavy loads or drive a motor vehicle for long periods might play a role in sciatica, but there's no conclusive evidence of this link.
Prolonged sitting. People who sit for prolonged periods or have a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop sciatica than active people are.
Diabetes. This condition, which affects the way your body uses blood sugar, increases your risk of nerve damage.
Complications -Although most people recover fully from sciatica, often without treatment, sciatica can potentially cause permanent nerve damage. Seek immediate medical attention if you have:
·        Loss of feeling in the affected leg
·        Weakness in the affected leg
·        Loss of bowel or bladder function
Prevention--It's not always possible to prevent sciatica, and the condition may recur. The following can play a key role in protecting your back:
Exercise regularly. To keep your back strong, pay special attention to your core muscles — the muscles in your abdomen and lower back that are essential for proper posture and alignment. Ask your doctor to recommend specific activities.
Maintain proper posture when you sit. Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Consider placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back to maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level.
Use good body mechanics. If you stand for long periods, rest one foot on a stool or small box from time to time. When you lift something heavy, let your lower extremities do the work. Move straight up and down. Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.
Homoeopathic medicines are very effective for curing sciatic pain . Some of the important remedies are given below.

COLOCYNTHIS 200—Colocynthis stands the first remedy of choice for sciatic pain.It can work wonders in treating sciatica. It is mostly suited in treating righted sciatica pain. Dul, stitching pains in the hip which come suddenly and shoot down to the posterior part of the thigh or to knee or foot.  Pain is relieved by heat and hard pressure but worse by touch or motions.

CHAMOMILLA 200-Chamomilla is another effective remedy for sciatica of very sensitive patients who feel the pain much more than what it actually is. It is also having a mental symptom of – I would prefer death rather than the pain.There is a numb feeling associated with sciatic pain. The pain is more at night and also by motion.

GNAPHALIUM 30—Gnaphallium is prescribed for sciatica when numbness associated with pain.Numbness alternates with sciatic pain. There is intense pain in the nerve accompanied by cramps or alternating with numbness. The pain is worse from lying and walking and better from sitting. The patient experiences pain in calf and feet.

RHUS TOX 200—Rhus tox is an effective remedy for sciatica due to exposure to moist cold weather or from muscular exertion. The pain is more on the right side. The sciatic pain is more in bed at night or when at rest. First movement gives terrific pain which is relieved after walking a little

MAGNESIUM PHOS 1000—Magnesium phos is prescribed when the patient experiences lightening like pain which are better by warmth. The pain comes and goes rapidly. Magnesia phos is considered to be a right sided sciatic remedy.

ARSENIC ALBUM 200- Arsenic alb is effective for sciatica when the patient has been subjected to  repeated attacks of malaria and the pain is intermittent. There is violent, drawing , burning, and tearing pain in  left hip extending to thighs. There is great restlessness and is better from hot application.

GINSENG 30-Ginseng is considered to be a specific for sciatica, when there is frequent desire for micturition. There is a feeling of contraction ad stiffness in the affected part.

GUAIACUM OFF. 1000-Guaiacum is tried for sciatica when well selected remedies fail. There is gouty , tearing , lancinating pains and feeling of contraction in the affected limb. It has acidity, coated tongue, filthy taste and breath.

AMMONIUM MUR. 30-Ammonium mur is effective for sciatica of left hip as if the tendons were too short. Legs feel contracted, limps when walking . Painful jerks, feet feel as if asleep. Pain worse while sitting but better on lying down.

BELLADONNA 200-Belladonna is prescribed when there is sudden violent pain and redness and heat of the affected parts. Here the pains are like jerks or shocks.The lower part of back feels as if broken.There is a full sensation in buttocks and thighs.There is restlessness and dry mouth and throat. The sciatic apin is worse fro heat, checked sweat, jarring, pressure , hanging down the leg , better from bending backward or by bed rest.

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