Your back is one of the hardest working parts of your body and it is often the most abused. People complain about backaches all of the time, from injury, abuse or several medical issues. Saying “I have a backache” is a very general statement, as, yes, your back does hurt, but it could be caused by many things…including the sciatic nerve.
Lower Back and Butt Pain
The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back, runs down both of your buttocks and then travels on down each leg. Heavy lifting, moving wrong and even an injury can cause problems with this nerve. It can become damaged, stretched or pinched.
The best way to tell if you have a sciatic nerve back ache is that it doesn’t necessarily confine itself to just lower back pain. Have you ever had a pain that shoots straight down your butt cheek and continues down your leg? It can be just a twinge, or it can hurt so bad that your leg nearly buckles under you!
I have a pinched nerve and the other day I was just walking along and suddenly a pain shot straight down my rear end and my leg nearly buckled under me. I had to catch on to something, catch my breath and then lean over to attempt to stretch my back and stop the pinch!
Recurring Back Injuries, Arthritis, Stress…
Sciatic nerve injuries and problems are hard to diagnose because a host of other ailments can cause back pain. I have had several back injuries and pulled muscles, plus I have arthritis. My doctor has attributed my sciatic nerve problems to all of those things. Stress and depression, sitting for long periods of time and improper lifting and carrying heavy things can all cause it.
Sometimes it goes away, or at least is not so painful, and other times it flares up for days and I get no rest. It can be very painful at night and cause pain, tingling and numbness down your backside, leg and feet. I usually have to get up and walk a bit, leaning over slowly and gently to stretch the muscles.
Remedies and Stretches
Depending on how severe your sciatic pain is, there are things that help. Be sure to discuss the best options with your doctor, because you don’t want to cause more injury! Simple things like not sitting to long or walking to far may help. Basically changing positions of your back and legs will relieve the pain.
Don’t slouch if you spend long hours in an office chair like I do. Listen to your body and take frequent breaks to stand up and stretch your back and body. Bring your knee gently up towards your body as you are standing. Stretch out on the floor on your side, bring your knee up and then roll it towards the floor. Just do it gently and always clear exercises with your doctor!
Stress, depression and cold can also cause the back muscles to tighten up and pinch the sciatic nerve. If you have recurring problems, often times a doctor may prescribe medication to treat the stress and depression, thus relieving the sciatic nerve pain. Trying to stay as warm as possible helps to…this is especially true if you have arthritis.
Dealing with a sciatic nerve problem is a real “pain in the butt,” literally, but there are things you can do to either try to avoid the problem, or alleviate some of the pain. Just make sure you know what you are dealing with, and the best way to proceed, according to your own medical needs.
You can check out this great website for more in-depth info on back pain, injuries and sciatic nerve pain: University of Maryland Medical Center Just don’t self-diagnose because you could cause more injury if you don’t know what you are dealing with.