If you think sciatica is a confusing topic, you are not alone. This video has been created with the intention of helping you clearly visualize the how sciatica develops, originating in your spine and radiating down the back of your leg and possibly into your foot.
Watch the sciatica pain video here: Sciatica Animated Video
Here are some highlights from the sciatica video:
As you can see from this image, the sciatic nerve is long, stretching from your lower back and down through the back of each leg and into your feet. In fact, the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body.
While sciatica symptoms travel through the leg, the source of the problem is actually in your lower back where the sciatic nerve begins.
Degenerative disc disease occurs when the disc starts to break down, dry out, and flatten. This process usually occurs over time due to ordinary wear and tear.
Disc degeneration can release proteins (seen here as small white dots) that may irritate the nearby nerve root.
A classic characteristic of sciatica pain is that it is usually felt only on one side of your body, not both.
Sciatica may present as numbness, weakness, or searing, sharp radiating pain through the buttocks, leg, or foot. Neurological symptoms, such as numbness or weakness, may also be present, depending on your unique anatomy and how your nerve is being affected.
Sciatica is a set of symptoms, not a diagnosis. To treat the symptoms, your doctor will have to first give you an accurate diagnosis and treat the underlying cause of your specific sciatica symptoms.
It may be referred to as lumbar radiculopathy, which is the same thing.
See the video here: Sciatica Animated Video
Now that you understand a little more about the cause and anatomy of sciatica nerve pain, learn more about what you can do to feel better: