Sciatic nerve inflammation: causes and treatments

Sciatica is one of the diseases, the symptoms of which can be detected no more than a few times throughout the year. For this reason, patients are in no hurry to see a doctor. However, over time, the disease begins to progress, complicating a person’s life.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a disease of the sciatic nerve, the most extended in the human body, of an inflammatory nature. With this pathology, the distal ends of the lumbosacral region of the spinal cord are affected.

When inflammation of the sciatic nerve occurs, pain is localized in the lower back and on the back of the thigh.

The affected nerve is the largest nerve branch in the body. It begins in the lower back from the roots of the lumbar spinal cord, penetrates through the gluteal region, scatters nerve endings over the entire surface of the lower limb.

Causes of occurrence

  1. The most common cause of sciatica is the formation of a hernia in one of the intervertebral discs, which begins to press on the nerve, causing inflammation. The sciatic nerve is pinched or stretched. The intervertebral disc is a shock-absorbing structure that softens the movement of the vertebrae and reduces the load on them. When an intervertebral hernia is formed, the nucleus pulposus protrudes significantly, which causes squeezing or pinching of the nerve trunk that emerges from the opening between the vertebrae.
  2. The usual hypothermia.
  3. Violation of the anatomical shape of the vertebra, which provokes trauma to the nearby nerve endings.
  4. Birth and other injuries.
  5. Irritation of the nerve trunk by adjacent bone structures, muscles, neoplasms, a focus of internal bleeding, infectious infiltration (rheumatic, influenza, tuberculosis).
  6. Stenosis is a pathology in which there is a narrowing of the lumen of the holes and the canal, where the nerve endings go out, and the spinal cord is located. This disease affects people over 60 with excessive formation of soft tissues, expansion of the joints of the vertebrae.
  7. Osteochondrosis is a degenerative pathology of the spinal column, with it there is a transformation of intervertebral discs, their bulging and crushing, covering with bone structures. Bone growths cause compression and irritation of the nerve endings.
  8. Spondylolisthesis is a pathology characterized by slipping of the vertebrae relative to one one.
  9. More rare causes of sciatica: neoplasms, abscesses, blood clots, infectious infiltrates in the pelvic region, Reiter’s syndrome.


Signs of inflammation of the sciatic nerve have the following symptoms:

  • Sciatica pain is shooting, burning, tingling.
  • Sometimes patients report numbness or “goosebumps”.
  • The pain is of varying intensity, it is characterized by periods of exacerbation and extinction of different duration.
  • The localization of pain varies from the lumbar region, affecting soft tissues along the movement of the nerve trunk, including the buttocks, lower extremities, and fingertips.
  • The lesion area can be extended, including the entire area of ​​innervation of the sciatic nerve, and small in area, localized in the thigh, buttock, foot, toe.
  • Symmetry of the pathology – spreading to both limbs – is extremely rare.
  • Sciatica is characterized by the migration of pain sensations.
  • Pain with this disease can not be tolerated, over time, its intensity only increases. The patient often loses the ability to walk, stand, even lie down.

Neurological disorders:

  • Violation of the sensitivity of the skin of the lower leg, foot;
  • Unnatural position of the body, which is caused by a violation of the tone of the muscles of the lower back and legs;
  • Movement disorders of the muscles of the back of the thigh and lower leg, which are characterized by impaired flexion of all joints of the limb;
  • Muscular atrophy, which occurs in connection with a disorder of the innervation and motor ability of the muscles of the posterior surface of the thigh and lower leg, is manifested by a decrease in the size of the limb.

Lasegue and Bonnet Syndromes :

When the patient, lying on his back, raises his straightened leg up, with sciatica, an attack of severe pain in the lower back and back of the limb is provoked. This is due to the stretching of the sciatic nerve. When the patient bends the straightened leg, the pain disappears.

The definition of Bonnet syndrome is similar to that described above, but the patient’s straight leg is lifted by the doctor.


Diagnostic methods are based on examination data and patient interviews. To identify the causes of sciatica formation, fluoroscopy, computed tomography, MRI, electromyography are used.

Types of treatment of the disease

At home, a patient in the acute phase of the disease is recommended to bed rest, injections, ointments, compresses. After eliminating the severity of the process, a set of special exercises is performed.

Treatment regimen

To cope with sciatica of the sciatic nerve, you can use the following common treatments:

  • Pharmacological agents;
  • Physiotherapy procedures;
  • Massage;
  • Exercises;
  • Ethnoscience.

Tablets in this situation are not prescribed. The main route of drug penetration is intramuscular or intravenous injections. Pain relievers are injected directly into the spinal canal.


Medication for sciatica consists in prescribing the following drugs:

  • Both steroid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used: voltaren, finalgon, ketoprofen , etc.
  • A complex of B vitamins is often prescribed – neurobion, milgamma.
  • For anesthesia, novocaine blockade is used – novocaine is injected into the lumbosacral area.

Physiotherapy, massage and exercise

After the elimination of the acute phase, they begin physiotherapy, massage and physiotherapy exercises. The use of UHF, phonophoresis, diadynamic currents is recommended.

How to cure sciatic nerve inflammation with folk remedies?

Especially for patients who prefer folk remedies, there are a number of recipes. Some of them:

  • Infusion of the following ingredients: pour 500 ml of boiling water over a tablespoon of viburnum, calendula, thyme, horsetail flowers. Drink three times a day, at least half a glass before meals.
  • Rubbing with agave, cut the fruit, rub the affected area with a cut.
  • Ointment from black radish juice, honey, salt and a glass of vodka, shake the mixture well before use. Rub it twice a day.
  • Compress based on black radish: grate the fruit, put on the affected area, cover with gauze, cellophane, wrap with a towel for 20 minutes.

During pregnancy

When diagnosing sciatica in pregnant women, the principle of treatment remains the same, only drugs that penetrate through the digestive tract are excluded.

Which doctor is treating?

This disease is treated by a neurologist.

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