The "sciatic nerve", known colloquially as it is, is one of the peripheral nerves of the nervous system, which is used to supply muscles and skin areas of the trunk and extremities.

The peripheral nerve is always outside the brain and emerges from the spinal canal in the immediate vicinity of its first supply area.

The sciatic nerve (Sciatic nerve) is attached to a nerve plexus located at the level of the lumbar spine (Lumbosacral plexus) and is the thickest nerve in the entire body.

The sciatic nerve occurs between the 4. Lumbar vertebrae and the 3. Sacral vertebrae out of the spinal canal and pulls from there over the hips towards the legs. In the area of ​​the hip it runs through one holey structure (Sciatic foramen) and from there it reaches the extensor side of the hip joint.

The sciatic nerve can then be found on the back of the thigh.
From there it pulls to the hollow of the knee, where it extends into the two main nerves of the lower leg (Common fibular nerve and Tibial nerve) splits.

In addition to some sensitive ones Nerve fibers He also sends parts to the motor innervation of many thigh muscles.
These muscles include:

  • the gemelli muscles
  • the quadriceps femoris muscle
  • the internal obturator muscle
  • the biceps femoris muscle
  • the semitendinosus muscle and ultimately
  • the semimembranosus muscle.

Due to its specific course and the close proximity to the Spine, the buttocks and the hip joint, compression of his nerve fibers can easily occur.

The resulting clinical picture is generally called "sciatica" known.

Sciatica causes

One of the main reasons for the "sciatica“ (Sciatica / lumbar sciatica) well-known clinical picture are traumatic injuries or bruises of the nerve fibers of the Sciatic nerve.

  1. Pelvic fractures
  2. Thigh fractures and
  3. Dislocations (Dislocations) of the sacrum-iliac joint can affect the nerves and thus even lead to paralysis of the sciatic nerve.

To clamp the sciatica It can be caused by various previous illnesses and in the majority of cases by incorrect movement sequences, even strong mechanical pressure can lead to a Sciatica to lead.

In addition, a disease attracts the Spine, the Spondylolisthesis (Vortex sliding), often resulting in pinching of the sciatic nerve.

In the course of the vertebral sliding, the individual vertebral bodies move relative to one another in such a way that various nerves that emerge from the vertebral canal at the level of the affected vertebral bodies can be pinched off.

Furthermore, inflammatory processes or excessive pressure in the area of ​​the nerve roots often lead to sciatica.

Figure sciatic nerve

Figure sciatic nerve
  1. Sciatic nerve -
    Sciatic nerve
  2. Warping intervertebral disc
  3. Disc prolapse -
    Nucleus pulposus prolapse
  4. Gelatinous core -
    Nucleus pulposus

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

Sciatica During Pregnancy

Severe pain in the area of ​​the Lumbar spinethat pull from there over the entire buttocks down to the leg and foot are a typical symptom of the inflamed sciatic nerve during the pregnancy.

As a rule, these pains only occur on one half of the body; it is extremely rare for bilateral sciatica to occur during pregnancy.
The sufferer may experience the symptoms through severe to cough or Sneeze, strengthen while bending forward and / or lifting the affected leg.

In addition, it occurs in many cases Numbness, tingle (a feeling like having a sleepy leg) and or Signs of paralysis the affected half of the body.
During pregnancy in particular, compressions and the associated inflammatory reactions of the sciatica often occur.

This phenomenon is based on the fact that many anatomical structures are shifted from their original position in the course of child growth and thereby press on the nerve.

In addition, the child itself can exert enormous pressure on the nerve tissue and in this way provoke the typical symptoms. The fact that the gluteal muscles are particularly stressed during pregnancy is also related to the development of a sciatica.

This is due to the fact that the weight distribution is increasingly shifted forward (in the direction of the abdomen) as the child grows, the muscles of the buttocks are forced to build up more strength to keep the body upright.

If the gluteal muscles can undoubtedly be identified as the cause of the sciatica, various heat gels and / or compresses can help to alleviate the symptoms.

Also apply massages of the stressed muscles and targeted stretching as enormously pain-reducing.

Not only is it unnecessary to take it easy, it is extremely counterproductive. Light movement is one of the best approaches to treating an inflamed sciatic nerve, especially during pregnancy. Remember, in this context, that taking painkillers should be avoided as far as possible.

Please also read our topic: Lumboischialgia in pregnancy

Symptoms of sciatica

Sciatica is usually characterized by moderate to severe pain, which affects all areas of the Sciatic nerve can be perceived.

In most cases these are:

  • buttocks
  • the Back of the thigh
  • the Lower leg and
  • Parts of the Foot affected.

Most patients describe the perceived pain of sciatica as stabbing and burning.
In addition, the clamping of the sciatic nerve and the resulting disturbance of the transmission of excitation can lead to sensory disturbances and numbness.

One of the first signs of sciatica is a tinglethat feels like a asleep leg or a foot that has fallen asleep.
In addition, most of those affected experience an occurrence of at the same time Back pain in the lumbar spine area.

It can be concluded that a Herniated disc of the lumbar spine or a protrusion of the Intervertebral disc can pinch the sciatic nerve.