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23rd May 2013The largest nerves found in the human body are the sciatic nerves. Measuring approximately the same size in diameter as a little finger, the nerves exit the spinal column in the lumbar region, travel behind the hip and continue down through the buttock and the back of each leg to the foot. The length and size of the nerve creates a host of symptoms unique to sciatica hip pain.
Unlike common lumbar pain, sciatica hip pain typically begins toward the hip region and travels down the affected leg, sometimes down to the foot. Depending on the impingement, the pain varies from annoying to disabling. The sensation ranges from tingling or burning to a deep, sharp shooting pain. The painful sensation often originates or worsens with movement or position changes that include standing from a sitting position. Coughing, laughing, sneezing or having a bowel movement often also intensifies pain.
Some individuals also might experience pain in one region of the leg and numbness in another. Some may experience a weakening in the leg or foot accompanied by sciatica hip pain. The weakness may become so severe that mobility becomes difficult.
The discomfort begins when the nerve sustains compression or irritation. The pain may begin suddenly after lifting a heavy object or moving quickly. Sciatica hip pain also begins when various physiological changes occur.
Herniated or slipped discs remain the most common contributing factor. The discs lie between each vertebra and consist of a tough exterior and a gel like interior. Approximately the shape and size of a common checker, the discs provide shock absorbing cushioning. If the outer covering of the disc ruptures, the gelatinous interior oozes through the disc and compresses the sciatic nerve.
Spinal stenosis often occurs during the normal aging process and involves a narrowing of the vertebral space that surrounds the spinal column. The excess bone applies direct pressure to the sciatic nerve. People suffering from spinal stenosis often experience bilateral sciatica or discomfort radiating toward both hips.
Other aging factors that contribute to the condition include osteoarthritis or fractures caused by osteoporosis.
Spondylolisthesis refers to the condition involving a vertebra shifting out of place and over the adjoining vertebra, which compresses the sciatic nerve.
Piriformis syndrome describes the circumstance when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or trapped by the piriformis muscle of the buttock.
Though rare, blood clots, systemic infections or tumors might also create the condition.
Seek Medical Attention
Individuals suffering sciatica hip pain should seek medical intervention under the following circumstances:
* Symptoms persist longer than three days or become progressively worse.
* Anyone younger than 20 or older than 55 experiencing sciatica for the first time.
* If currently diagnosed with cancer or have a history of cancer.
* If recently experiencing severe weight loss, unexplained chills or fever accompanied by back pain.
* Have a diagnosis of HIV positive.
* Use IV drugs.
* Experience difficulty bending forward for more than one or two weeks.
* Unexplained and increasing leg weakness.
* Inability to feel sensation or move the legs or feet.
* Unbearable pain not relieved by OTC medications or other first aid treatments.
* The pain occurs after a traumatic injury.
* Experience numbness in the genital region, lose bladder or bowel control.
Avoid positions that increase pain. Lie on your back with a Mumanu support pillow under the knees, or assume a side lying position with a Mumanu support pillow [under the top leg] to maintain hip alignment. However, remaining immobile for extended periods of time often exacerbates the condition. Take OTC anti-inflammatory medications per label instructions unless contraindicated if also taking prescription blood thinning medications. Apply an ice pack to the area. Alternate using ice packs with moist, warm heat. You may also check out these [stretches for sciatica]