Sciatic nerve is present in humans and other animal. It passes all the way from lower back and inner wets the lower extremities. It is longest nerve and widest according to its radius. It innervates the legs and goes all the way to the foot.
Location of sciatic nerve:
It origins from the sacral segment of the spinal cord and more specifically from the L1-S3 segment of the sacral plexus. It goes through sciatic foramen and innervates the gluteal region of muscles.
Any pain that occurs in the sciatic nerve’s course is termed as sciatica or sciatic pain. It is not a medical diagnostic feature but indicates the disease lying under the skin.
Here are a few symptoms of sciatica:
- Numbness felt in legs and feet
- Itching and burning
- Difficulty in walking and sitting
- Occurs mostly in one leg
- Electric pain is felt
- Standing or sitting worsens the pain
Types of sciatic nerve pain:
Sciatica from L4 nerve root:
This causes numbness in the lower and middle portion of the leg and feet movement is compromised as patient suffers from knee-jerk reflex.
Sciatica in L nerve root:
This condition affects the toes and ankle mostly leading to numbness of feet especially toes. Numbness in the feet is also seen along with difficulty in walking and standing.
Sciatica from S1 nerve root:
It is the leading cause of ankle-jerk reflex disorder, affecting the lateral and posterior part of the feet. Difficulty in raising the heels is seen.
Conditions that lead to sciatica:
Lower back disorders are the leading cause of sciatica these days. It includes spinal stenosis, disc slip, osteophytes and arthritis.
Examination of sciatica:
The following process id carried out in examination of sciatica:
- Determination of spine motion
- Neurological test of lower spine
- Leg straightening test
- Ankle dysfunction test
- Light touch sensation