The Basics of Sciatica

The human body is more than just flesh and bones. In addition to the 206 bones that make up our skeletons, did you know that our bodies are also compromised of 95 to 100 billion nerve cells? You could say we’ve got a lot of nerve!

Nerves, along with the brain and spinal cord, are an integral part of the nervous system. Nerve cells, or neurons, connect the brain to other parts of the body by transmitting signals through the body. This allows us to react to the world around us. Essentially, they are like the electrical wiring of the brain, and work to make sure that all the different parts of the body know what is going on.

But nerves, like any other part of the body, are susceptible to damage. And because there are billions of nerves within the body, nerve injuries are actually fairly common after car accidents, falls, or other types of accidents. One of the most common nerve injuries is sciatica.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a nerve injury that occurs when the sciatic nerve is damaged. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It runs from the spinal cord to the lower back and buttocks area to send nerve transmissions to the lower limbs. When the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, inflamed, or irritated, it can lead to sciatica. Accidents and degenerative conditions are major causes of sciatica, and it often accompanies a herniated disc injury.

When someone is suffering from sciatica, they will likely experience pain in the lower region of their body, like the lower back, buttocks, legs and lower extremities, or hips. It can also cause muscle weakness, difficulty with walking, foot numbness, and a “pins and needles” sensation in lower parts of the body. With sciatica, the pain usually affects only one side of the body. Some people only experience mild pain and difficulty, while others might face debilitating pain in their everyday actives.

Treatment for Sciatica

There are many ways to treat sciatica and the type of treatment will likely depending on the severity of pain. Some common types of treatment include:

  • Ice packs
  • Medications, like muscle relaxers or anti-inflammation drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Steroid injections

Often, the pain goes away after a period of treatment and rest. In more severe cases, surgery might be required to repair the damage to the sciatic nerve. Even in situations where the pain or discomfort only lasts for a few weeks, it can still have a massive impact on a person’s life, as it may hinder their ability to perform their usual work and earn wages, and might impact their well-being and general health. This is why sciatica should be taken very seriously after a car crash, workplace injury, or other personal injury matter.

Sciatica is just another reminder than any part of the body can be injured during an accident. After an accident or injury, be sure to see a doctor to talk about any pain or discomfort—something seemingly small could be the cause of a much bigger issue.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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