what is acute sciatica - Sciatica During Pregnancy
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Sciatica During Pregnancy

Imagine the surprise a woman must feel while dealing with the physical symptoms and discomforts of pregnancy, to suddenly develop severe back pain. This is not the usual low back pain that is often experienced during pregnancy; it is sciatica. This sharp, shooting pain usually starts in the buttocks and radiates down the back or side of the thigh to the calf and possibly the heel. There may be paralyzing numbness, in addition to the pain, which can be severe enough to limit mobility.


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In addition, these helpful habits may decrease the chances of developing sciatica: ??? Avoid hours of sitting slumped at a computer or standing with a baby on one hip. Both can contribute to lower back pain.

??? Try to avoid significant weight gain. ??? Try sleeping on a firm mattress, lying on one side. A pillow rolled up under the knees may be helpful.

Spinal stenosis related to age is the more commonly acquired form. This form of the stenosis condition may cause various spinal components to sag or bulge from arthritis. Discs, joints, and ligaments can be affected. These changes, which occur with age, can have the effect of narrowing the spinal canal and thus trigger spinal stenosis pain.

Piriformis Syndrome: Simply put this is pain caused by the Piriformis muscle that may be in spasm, inflamed, or irritated. Located in you buttock and laying right on top of the sciatic nerve as it exits the spine down your leg. When this muscle is inflamed, irritated or in spasm it will cause pressure on the sciatic nerve causing the sciatica like symptoms.

Majority of these patients give a history of lifting heavy weights on their head or back, adopting improper spinal postures while sitting or bending forward, riding two wheelers on bumpy roads, female patients standing for a longer time in kitchens - these all contribute to the unbearable & excruciating pain called Sciatica.

As the pregnancy develops, the abdominal tendons and ligaments become looser to prepare for childbirth. The backs of some women become quite unstable and prone to injury. Medical evaluation should always be sought. In some cases, sciatic pain is due to pressure on the nerve that is caused by damage to the disc between the vertebrae of the spine. This creates inflammation and pain and requires specific treatment.

??? Swimming and walking are excellent exercises if not contra-indicated by the physician. ??? Avoid walking on an incline as this can cause joint irritation and lead to problems.

??? Williams Exercises have been developed specifically for use during pregnancy. They may temporarily relieve sciatica pain as they help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, the back and abdomen.

Another cause of sciatica is trauma caused by accidents. The impact may injure nerves or cause fragments of bone to compress the nerves (lumbar or sacral spinal nerve roots)

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??? Bedrest may be necessary at times. ??? See your physician if the pain becomes unmanageable. Sciatica is unique to a pregnancy and may gradually disappear on its own. Just because you had sciatica in one pregnancy does not mean it will appear in a subsequent one.

In the later & complicated stages of Sciatica, the gait of the affected person resembles that of an Eagle's walk & the inflamed nerve appears like Eagle's beak, hence the term Gridhrasi.

Sacroiliitis: The joint where your hip meets your spine is called the sacroiliac joint. When your sacroiliac joint becomes inflamed it is known as sacroiliitis. Sciatica type syndromes can be felt due to inflammation caused by arthritis or traumatic injury. Anesthetic injections or anti-inflammatory medications can take away the pain.

Sciatica is not a specific disease, instead it is a condition characteristic of several different diseases. Simply put, it is a mild to intense pain in the left or right leg. Sciatica is caused by a compression of one or more of the five sets of nerve roots in the lower back. These compressions are typically caused by a disc rupture or bone spur in the lumbar spine. It causes pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms or legs. This is referred to as radiculopathy. If the nerve root causing the problem is in the neck it is called cervical radiculopathy. Sciatica is called a lumbar radiculopathy since it occurs in the lower back.

Most physicians avoid prescribing medications for pregnant patients suffering from sciatica but there are several steps that can be taken to relieve or decrease the discomfort. This includes:

Spinal Tumors Spinal tumors can be benign or malignant, but are fairly rare. They cause sciatica due to pressure on the disc. Trauma

??? Moist heat alternated with ice packs ??? Chiropractic treatments may be helpful. Be sure to select a practitioner experienced in treating prenatal patients.

Dietary Regimen: Pulses, beans, and fried foods should be prohibited. Curds and other sour substances should be avoided. Saffron, in small quantities, should be mixed with milk and given to the patient to drink. Life style Regimen: Gentle exercise of the leg is advised. Exposure to damp and cold should be avoided. Swimming in warm water is a good exercise for legs. The patient should use a hard bed and wear a lumbo-sacral belt. Yogic exercises like Halasana, Shalabhasana, and Bhujangasana may be undertaken after pain has subsided to prevent recurrence of sciatica. Internal Medications: include many types of Ayurvedic preparations like Thailams, Grithams, Gutika, Pills, Lehyams, Churnams, Asavaaristams & Kashayas are prescribed by a qualified Doctor after a thorough examination of the patient.

There are six typical causes of Sciatica. Spondylolisthesis Spondylolisthesis is usually found at birth, early childhood or acquired from physical trauma such as weightlifting. It is a disorder that most often affects the lumbar spine. Spondylolisthesis is characterized by one vertebra slipping forward over an adjacent vertebra. Often sciatic leg pain is caused when a nerve root compresses due to the vertebra being displaced and slipping.

Piriformis Syndrome Due to the lack of MRI or x-ray findings, it may be difficult to diagnose and treat piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle connects to the thighbone, assists in hip rotation and is located in the lower part of the spine. When muscle spasms develop in the piriformis muscle thereby compressing the sciatic nerve, Piriformis syndrome develops. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. Piriformis syndrome is named for the piriformis muscle and the pain caused when the muscle irritates the sciatic nerve. Lumbar Bulging or Herniated Disc

SCIATICA, Gridhrasi in Ayurveda, is a Vata roga, characterized by Sharp Shocking pain radiating from the Hip unto Thigh, Calf or the Toes in one or both the Legs. Numbness, Weakness, Tingling sensation & Discomfort along the path of the Sciatic Nerve are the results of Compression, Irritation & Inflammation of the Sciatic Nerve.

Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome: The pain coming from the joints in your back with this particular symptom can cause Sciatica like symptoms along with pain and discomfort. Just like the knee and elbow can get inflamed and cause pain, the facet joint is like any other joint in your body and follows these same rules.

Ayurveda believes that Sciatica/Gridhrasi is caused by the aggravation of vayu. Sometimes the vitiation of kapha along with vata brings on the attack. At times constipation precipitates or aggravates an attack of sciatica. Ayurveda prescribes the perfect prescription for Gridhrasi. It includes:

 
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Iliolumbar Syndrome: This is simply inflammation or a tear of the ililumbar ligament. This is the back of your pelvis and it extends from the spine to the iliac crest.

"We are aimed at Redefining Ayurveda by propagating the ancient traditions of Ayurveda to the modern world, and practicing the Genuine, Shastroktha & Purest form of AYURVEDA from the past 9 years. Today, we are known for conceptualising ayurvedic cures to diseases like sciatica, slip disc, arthritis, spondilitis, herniated disc, degenerative disc etc. which never had a solution other than surgery. For my work in the field of ayurveda I was awarded KRRUSHI RATNA AWARD, AYURVEDA TAPASWI AWARD, VAIDYA RATNA AWARD." Says Dr. Kranthi Vardhan Chief Physician & Managing Director, The Kerala Ayurvedic Care, 3-6-101/1, st no: 19, basheerbagh, Hyderabad-29. For details contact Cell: 98666 66055, 92461 66636 & 66101140 on all days from 8am to 8pm strictly with a prior appointment.

Sciatica can occur at any time in a normal pregnancy but it is most common during the second and third trimester, when the baby is larger and carried lower in the abdomen. Known as Pregnancy-Related Sciatica, it is caused by the pressure of the baby on the sciatic nerve. This is the largest nerve in the body, about the diameter of a finger. Its fibers branch off the spinal cord at the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebra (L4, L5) and the first few segments of the sacrum.

About the Author:

Paul G Miller is a Ft Lauderdale chiropractic therapist who has worked with individuals with back pain problems for seven years.
If you would like to receive a free weekly newsletter on back pain relief visit www.usspinecare.com and also to get more in-depth information.

If you think you may be suffering from sciatica, be sure and contact your physician to get a proper diagnosis! Liana Mirkin is the IT Director for Spina Systems International, Inc., a company which specializes in distributing the

Being extremely uncommon in younger patients sciatica can still affect most anyone. Most people who suffer from sciatica are in the age range of thirty to fifty. Most often back injury or over exerting the back will bring on a sudden onset of sciatica.

So you have been diagnosed with sciatica and even though your doctor explained to you about the condition, you have come looking for a bit more information on sciatica.

??? When getting out of bed, try rolling onto your side first, letting the weight of your feet and legs dangling over the edge of the bed, pull your body into a sitting position. This puts less stress on the lower back, helping you to avoid triggering a painful muscle spasm.

??? Massage to reduce muscle tension. Some experts believe that tightness in the gluteus and psosas muscles contribute to sciatic pain. Treatment once or twice a week can help relieve stress on weight-bearing joints.

When the nucleus breaks through the annulus a herniated disc occurs. It is called a 'non-contained' disc disorder. A bulging disc is also known as a contained disc disorder. This means the nucleus pulposus (gel-like center) remains 'contained' within the annulus fibrosus (tire-like outer wall) of the disc. Because a herniated disc is a 'non-contained' disc disorder, the consequences of a herniated disc are worse. Whether a disc or herniates or bulges, disc material can press against an adjacent nerve root and compress delicate nerve tissue and cause sciatica. Irritation and nerve compression cause pain and inflammation often leading to extremity tingling, muscle weakness and numbness. The disc material itself also contains an acidic, chemical irritant (hyaluronic acid) that causes nerve inflammation. The herniated nucleus causes direct compression of the nerve root against the interior of the bony spinal canal.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis The condition of spinal stenosis results in the spinal canal narrowing. The narrowing causes pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Common in patients over the age of 50 and with causes that are not clear, spinal stenosis has two different types frequently described. A common complaint of spinal stenosis patients is leg pain which gets worse with walking. Another complaint is back pain. Sitting and bending can sometimes alleviate these pains.

Lets start with the basic question on most peoples mind, what is sciatica? The general term used for pain being felt along the sciatic nerve is sciatica. This pain is usually described by patients as a sharp electric shocking type pain that starts in the buttocks and travels down the back of the thigh and leg. Most often caused by a herniated disk, there are also other causes. When diagnosing sciatica symptoms a MRI scan is most often taken to help with this process. If your MRI shows a herniated disk make sure to get referred to a spine specialist. A spine specialist can look over your X-rays and be able to recommend the proper course of treatment.

External Therapies: includes the famous Panchakarma & Rejuvenation therapies. Abhyangam, Nadi Swedam, Elakizhi, Pizhichil, Kati vasthi, Matra vasthi and other Ayurvedic procedures are performed accordingly for a period of 7/14/21/28 days thus treating the underlying cause of the disease without any side effects.

There is one type of spinal stenosis that exists where individuals are born with a narrow spinal canal. In people that have this condition even minor structural changes to the spine can cause severe spinal stenosis.

??? Maintain proper posture and try to stand straight. ??? Wear flat shoes or ones with a very low heel. Avoid shoes that throw your weight backwards.

Some signs and symptoms of sciatica are: A cramping sensation of the thigh Shooting pains from the buttock, down the leg Tingling, or pins-and-needles sensations in the legs and thighs A burning sensation in the thigh Maneuvers such as squatting, coughing or sneezing worsen the sciatica symptoms that the patient is having. The cause of the worsened sciatica symptoms is the jerking motion adding pressure that is being placed around the nerve. I mentioned earlier that sciatica is not always caused by a herniated or slipped disk. Some other causes of Sciatica could be:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: This is the narrowing of the spinal canal causing sciatica type symptoms. Disk problems and arthritis of the spine can cause this narrowing.

The most common causes are Lumbar herniated disc, Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative disc disease, Aging, Osteoporosis, Spondilitis, Pelvic Infections, Tumors, Diabetic neuropathies etc.

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Kimberly Griggs

 
 
     
 
 





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