Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Well, I'm two days late this week.  Maybe I shouldn't have a deadline for myself.  But without deadlines, how does anything ever get done on time, or late? ;-D

The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in your body.  Pain in this nerve results from compression of the nerve from swollen or displaced tissue.  That tissue can be a herniated disc, a pulled muscle, a torn ligament or tendon, a hematoma, or a fracture. 

The hallmark of sciatica is the radiation of discomfort, usually pain, from the lower back down the leg.  The sciatic nerve is a bundle of nerves that starts near your lower spine and branches all the way to the tips of your toes.  Most people with sciatica suffer with pain that radiates some distance down the nerve.  Most doctors would agree that if your pain radiates below your knee, then the sciatic nerve is involved.  But, you can suffer other problems with compression of a nerve. 

Nerves not only send pain information, they send information to your brain about body position, touch, hot, cold, vibration, and compression.  In addition they send information from the brain to the muscles, telling them to contract or relax.  Sciatica could therefore involve not only pain, but numbness, loss of position sense, inability recognize vibration, heat or cold, or to contract or relax a muscle.

Loss of communication between the brain and your leg via the sciatic nerve may cause many different symptoms: pain, stumbling, foot drop, or injury due to cold or heat, depending upon which nerve fibers are compressed.

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