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You might be suffering from sciatica if you are among those who are dealing with back pain. In such cases, you need to consult a physician to see which back brace best suits your condition.
Sciatica is a medical term that doctors use to describe weakness, tingling, pain, numbness and other related pain going down the leg towards the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a nerve on the leg that’s formed by different nerve roots from the lower part of the back and usually converge at the buttocks before splitting to nerve branches way past the knee area.
Symptoms of Sciatica
For the most part, symptoms of sciatica tend to show up as a straight line from the back to the toes. Sometimes, it tends to skip different posts such that you only feel the pain in specific areas like the buttocks, calf, knee, thigh, foot and ankle.
Sciatica can either be intermittent or constant which means you can feel the symptoms partly or all the time. Not to mention, the sciatica symptoms can fluctuate from time to time but that depends on how you are using your body as it can be affected by different things including positions, posture and movement.
Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sciatica is a term that describes the symptoms but doesn’t necessarily give much attention to identifying the cause of the problem in the first place. A lot of things can cause pain in the leg and surrounding areas and most of the time they are usually misdiagnosed or misinterpreted as Sciatica.
For the most part, sciatica is caused by pinched or irritated nerves that exit the spine. In case of such an irritation, the nerves on the lower back radiate mild to severe pain down the sciatic nerves that can go up to the toes depending on its severity. With this in mind, it’s always advisable to pay attention to the pains and aches in your back.
However, you can experience sciatic pain resulting from the lower back without having lower back pain. This means that there are many different things that cause sciatica pain such as herniated disc, spinal stenosis, vertebrae slippage and muscle strain among others.
What happens when you have sciatica? What are the treatment options? There are several things that can be done to treat sciatica including Xray’s, CT scans and MRI’s to get a clear picture of what the structures in your body look like. However, you need to be a little careful since it shows you everything without telling you what exactly is relevant.
We tend to grow gray hair and get a bit wrinkly as we age and we can see that externally. The same thing also happens inside our bodies commonly known as degeneration or arthritis. Besides, you can have symptoms of sciatica at a tender age without signs of aging on the inside. In this case, the physician will do a simple exam with the patient lying on their back.
When the doctor is doing the exam, the patient will lift their leg slowly one at a time and report any pain. The test is quite simple but it helps determine whether or not the nerves are agitated and if the pain is as a result of an injured disc in the body.
The good news is, you can do the test at the comfort of your home by conducting an easy slump test. In this case, you’ll need to sit down and set off by simply kicking forward the unaffected leg ensuring your toes are slightly pulled towards the direction of your nose. Once you’re done, bring the chin to the chest and try slouching forward while holding the same position for a few minutes.
Repeat the same procedure with the affected leg. However, you might need to go slow because the sciatica symptoms can zap you down the leg in question. In this scenario, the tension and pain you may feel can be as a result of agitated nerves most likely from an injured disc in the body. Fortunately, nerves tend to relax over time and injured discs also heal.
Sciatica has a range of treatment options and that is where the back brace comes into play. However, you need to factor in the cause and severity of the condition as it helps in choosing the right brace.
Does a Back Brace Help Treat Sciatica?
This is the most frequently asked question about back braces as a sciatica treatment option. To answer this question – Yes, it does!
Back braces can help treat sciatica. This is because a back brace provides the right amount of support and compression in the affected area to help prevent any further injuries and also encourage healing. The best thing about back braces for sciatica is that they offer instant and lasting relief even though they are usually recommended for short term use only.
Back braces are important for those struggling with sciatica symptoms owing to lower back sensitivity. When the lower part of the back is sensitive, movements that were otherwise normal in your day-to-day life can become almost like a chore and equally tiresome. In such cases, a back brace will come in handy. This is because back braces usually work like crutches to help the core muscles absorb a range of forces endured from different activities as you go about your daily activities.
Some of these activities include simple things like getting up and down, bending, turning and walking among others. Just like how doctors’ advice against overly relying on crutches, is the same way you shouldn’t use a back brace as a long-term strategy to help manage your pain. Using back braces for an extended period can result in other problems.
The bottom line is – It’s important to have the right back brace at your disposal especially if you’re dealing with sciatica as its quite handy when it comes to pain relief. Plus, it helps speed up the recovery process from any source of sciatica symptoms.