A Pain in the buttock

The pain may burn or tingle, or feel achy and dull. Numbness and muscle weakness may accompany the pain. About 4 in 10 people have sciatica at some time in their lives.

People who are exposed to long hours of mechanical vibrations (behind the wheel of a car or truck), as well as heavy repetitive lifting are prone to it. Smoking raises your risk, possibly because smoking is bad for circulation.  Still, many who have it are healthy and happy, love their jobs, and never lift anything heavy.  You may simply bend or twist, or even sneeze, and you’ve suddenly got sciatica.

The best news is that sciatica is self-limiting in nine out of ten cases. That is, it simply goes away on it’s own, usually in two to six weeks. If you have an attack, try commonsense treatments. Take an over the counter pain reliever first; it that doesn’t work, switch to aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.  Some people find ice packs helpful, others prefer heat.

It has been shown that staying in motion-rather then bed rest-is best for most low back pain, but not necessarily for sciatica. A recent review of back pain studies concluded that neither bed rest nor staying active seemed to reduce sciatica pain, but staying active did make some small improvement in a person’s ability to function.

Source: UC Berkeley Wellness Letter

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Jack Witt