What is the sciatic nerve and why does it hurt?

Centro de la columna Vertebral: 2018 September 27, 2018

¿Qué es el nervio ciático y por qué puede doler?
 

What is the sciatic nerve and why does it hurt?

The sciatic nerve or ischial nerve, as it is scientifically known, is the largest nerve in the human body. If it suffers any damage or abnormal pressure, it can cause significant pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs. Here we will tell you a little more about this condition.

The sciatic nerve

From the spine descend a series of nerve tissues that are responsible for carrying electrical impulses from the brain to the rest of the body. The sciatic nerve is one of these nerves, and it is in charge of generating the leg's flexion on the thigh.

Why does it hurt?

The most vulnerable part of this nerve is in the area of the pelvis, just where it connects to the spine. Blows, accidents or some conditions (such as a herniated disc) can cause this nerve to compress, generating a lot of pain, weakness and even numbness in the leg, and it can even prevent you from walking.

Characteristics of this type of pain

. One of the main characteristics of sciatica, as it is popularly known, is that it starts from the upper part of the buttocks (where the back ends) and goes "down". That is to say, it does not produce pain in a single point, but rather it can radiate towards the leg, many times preventing it from moving normally.

Treatment and diagnosis

It is important for you to know that sciatic nerve pain is a symptom and not a disease in itself. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Herniated disc.
  • Tumors in the spine.
  • Fractured pelvis.
  • Piriformis syndrome.
  • Spondylolisthesis.
  • Degeneration of intervertebral discs.

Therefore, it is necessary to perform imaging studies on the affected person: X-ray, ultrasound or MRIs as the doctor deems necessary. Thereby he or she can determine underlying cause of the sciatic pain and design an appropriate treatment.

Visit CCV for medical advice

At the Centro de la Columna Vertebral we are experts in the treatment of conditions and diseases affecting the back, including the sciatic nerve. Visit us if you have any pain that prevents you from carrying out your daily activities.

Schedule your appointment here

“The information contained in this blog is of an informative nature; it seeks to promote good health habits in the population and by no means replaces medical consultation. Content reviewed and corrected by Dr. Armando Acevedo Mendez, orthopedics and traumatology specialist. Professional license: 602691.”

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