Sciatica is one of the common causes of lower back pain and is usually age-related, but many younger people are also getting it due to being sedentary and obese. Our back is supported by the spine that is made up of vertebrae that protect the nerves, between the vertebrae are cushioning discs that can get ruptured or protrude outwards, rupturing of the disc presses the nerves in the spine and this is what causes sciatica pain. Age used to be the common factor in causing slipping or rupturing of the discs, but an accidental injury can also cause it.
Sciatica nerves run from the lumbar spine into each leg, therefore it can cause pain and numbness in the lower back and the legs. As described before, major causes of sciatica pain are bulged or herniated discs, slip of a vertebra, a compressed nerve, accidents and spinal tumors can cause sciatica. Bulging disc is a common cause related to age, when a disc bulges or ruptures the gel like disc material leaving the disc presses against the adjacent nerve, disc gel is acidic in nature and it can cause inflammation and further pain.
Sciatica can cause moderate to intense pain in lower back and legs, tingling and feeling of numbness is also associated with sciatica. In order to avoid sciatica, it is important to be active and do exercise as early as possible in life, steer clear of jobs that involve lifting weights and heavy objects, strengthen your back with weight training and strength training exercises, always maintain proper sitting posture at work, if you have to move a heavy object; lift it by bending your knees and keeping your back straight.
Although, sciatica is generally considered an age-related condition, it can effect any person in the age group of 30-50, there are factors that can cause sciatica pain at a young age, such as pregnancy, being overweight, and smoking. Standing up and walking for long can exacerbate the pain and pain can become worsen and very sharp at times. Bed rest and reducing activity can cause the problem to worsen. Pain relief medicine and physiotherapy sessions are often used to overcome sciatica.
If all other treatments of sciatica don’t work, surgery can be recommended, but only 5% people with sciatica usually require surgery. If you don’t want to suffer from sciatica, do regular exercise to keep muscles strong, keep your bones healthy by eating the right foods. If you include foods rich in calcium and get vitamin D (from sunlight), you’d be able to prevent many bone-related diseases, including osteoporosis. Have milk, salmon, cheese, eggs, yogurt, broccoli and spinach.