ABSCESS   
ACID/ALKALI   
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ASPARTAME   
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ATHEROSCLEROSIS   
ATHLETES FOOT   
ASTIGMATISM   
BACK PAIN   
BAD BREATH       
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BELLS PALSY   
BLEPHARITIS   
BLOOD PRESSURE   
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WEIGHT LOSS   
WEST NILE VIRUS   
WHOOPING COUGH   

SCIATICA

The sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body, runs from the pelvis through the buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg. The sciatic nerve’s responsibilities include controlling many of the muscles in the lower legs as wells as providing feeling to the thighs, legs and feet. “Sciatica" is the term used to refer to pain that radiates along the path of this nerve which is from the back into the buttock and leg.

Sciatica in and of itself is not a disorder. It is rather, a symptom of another problem involving the nerve, like a herniated disk for example. The pain of acute sciatica typically dissipates on its own in six weeks or so. With certain conditions however, that time frame could be shorter or longer.

The tell tale sign of sciatica is pain that radiates from the spine to the buttock and down the back of the leg.

The pain, which varies by case, can consist of a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating discomfort usually starts gradually and gets progressively worse over time. Some people have reported a feeling similar to a jolt or electric shock. The pain may also worsen when the affected person coughs or sneezes. Sitting for extended periods of time can also cause symptoms to intensify.

Aside from pain, a person with sciatica may also experience:

Numbness or muscle weakness along the nerve pathway in the leg or foot.

Tingling or a pins-and-needles feeling, most commonly in the foot or part of the toes

A loss of bladder or bowel control – This is indicative of a rare but serious condition called cauda equina syndrome, which requires emergency care. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should immediate seek attention from a professional heath care practitioner.

Sciatica frequently occurs when a nerve root is compressed in the spine. Often times, this can be the result of something such as a herniated disk in the lower back. While this type of condition is the most common cause of sciatic nerve pain, other conditions which also put pressure on the sciatic nerve, include:

- Lumbar spinal stenosis

- Spondylolisthesis

- Piriformis syndrome

- Spinal Trauma

- Sciatic nerve tumor or injury

In some cases, the cause for sciatica may be undetermined.

The regimen outlined below includes a safe, natural approach to treating & preventing sciatica:

Maintain a healthy weight.

Physical exercise is recommended as long as it doesn’t aggravate the inflammation. Walking and swimming are good for the back.

Avoid baseball, basketball, football, bowling, golf, tennis and weightlifting as these activities put strain on the lower back.

Massage therapy can be an effective treatment as it increases circulation and aids in healing back problems.

To help alleviate discomfort, applying hot packs, cold packs, and stretching  may be helpful.

To prevent sciatica from recurring (which it often does), be extra careful when lifting or moving heavy objects; practice good posture; sleep on a firm mattress; maintain a healthy weight; avoid sitting or standing for extended periods of time; and do not smoke (smoking can irritate the sciatic nerve).

The following supplements may also be beneficial:

B Vitamin Complex (100 mg of each major B vitamin 3 times daily) - Speeds healing of sciatica.

Calcium (1,000 mg daily) and Magnesium (750 mg daily) - Help relieve muscle spasms.

Vitamin D (400 IU daily) - Aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids (3,000-10,000 mg daily) - Essential for the formation of collagen, which holds tissues together and alleviates back tension.

Multivitamin and mineral complex (take as directed on label) - Provides nutrient balance and essential for the healing process.

Evening Primrose Oil (take as directed on label) - Natural anti-inflammatory.

Chamomile (take as directed on label)- Helps soothe muscle tissue.

Horsetail (take as directed on label) - Builds connective tissue.

Acupuncture - Traditional Chinese medicine that provides safe and effective relief for lower back pain.

 

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