Sciatica pain is a debilitating pain that can last for weeks, preventing you from going about your days normally. Getting relief can be nearly impossible without the use of anti-inflammation, pain medication, and alternating heat and ice. 

The flare ups of this radiating lower back pain make living life difficult, and the use of medical marijuana for sciatica makes dealing with the pain more manageable. Let’s take a closer look at marijuana and sciatic nerve pain.

What exactly is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. This pain starts in your lower back and goes through your hips and buttocks and down your leg. Sciatica often only affects one side of your body and is usually caused by a compression of the sciatic nerve.

Causes of sciatica pain

The cause of sciatica pain is the result of the sciatic nerve becoming pinched. A pinched nerve is often caused by a herniated disk in your spine or an overgrowth of bone, known as a bone spur on your vertebrae. In some rare conditions, a tumor or damage from diabetes can compress the nerve.

Here are some other medical conditions that can cause sciatica,

  • A slipped disc causes pressure on a nerve root. Herniated discs and slipped discs in the lower back are the most common causes of sciatica pain. The cushioning pads between the vertebrae begin to bulge, putting your sciatica nerve under pressure.
  • Degenerative disc disease causes the discs to wear down, making the passageways narrow and pinching the sciatic nerve.
     
  • Spinal stenosis is another health condition that causes abnormal spinal canal narrowing, leaving limited space for the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Osteoarthritis causes bone spurs, which causes compression in lower back nerves.

Signs and symptoms of sciatic nerve pain

The most common sciatica symptoms are pain and discomfort that are felt along the path of the large sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the lower back down the leg. 

Here are some of the symptoms of sciatica,

  • Pain. The constant burning sensation and shooting pain begins in the lower back, goes through the buttock, and radiates down the leg. You can feel the pain in the front or back of the thigh, leg, and/or feet.
  • Numbness. Most often, this pain is accompanied by numbness in the back of the leg. And some people will have tingling and/or weakness as well.
  • One-sided symptoms. For the most part, only one leg will be affected for the most part, and both legs will rarely be affected together.
  • Posture-induced symptoms. Usually, symptoms of sciatica will get worse when sitting, lying down, or coughing. This is because you are bending or twisting the spine, which puts more pressure on the sciatica nerve. 

Risk factors for sciatica

Various factors put you at a higher risk of sciatica. Some of these include your age, health conditions, occupation, and if you are obese. Let’s take a closer look at some of these risk factors,

  • Age. As you get older, your spine changes, and you’re at an increased risk of spinal-related issues, such as herniated disks and bone spurs, which are two of the most common causes of sciatica.
  • Obesity. Being obese puts added stress on your spine, which contributes to the changes in the spine that can trigger sciatica.
  • Occupation. Jobs that require carrying heavy loads, driving for long periods, or constant twisting of the spine play a major role in sciatica.
  • Diabetes. When you have diabetes, you are at an increased risk of nerve damage because of the way your body uses blood sugar. 

Preventing sciatica

Preventing sciatica isn’t always possible; there are some things that you can do that may help. These things include the following, 

  • Exercising regularly will help to strengthen your back and improve your posture. To keep your back strong, focus on your abdomen and lower back muscles, as these are essential for having good posture and alignment. 
  • Be conscious of your posture when sitting. If you’re forced to sit for long periods, be sure to select a quality chair that supports your lower back and has armrests and a swivel base. You can also add a pillow or rolled towel behind the small of your back to maintain its normal curve. You’ll also want to keep your knees and hips level.
  • Improve your body mechanics when standing for long periods. You can do this by resting one foot on a stool or box and alternating them from time to time. If you’re lifting something heavy, be sure to lift it from the legs and move straight up and down.  Be careful not to twist when lifting. It’s always best to have a lifting partner when possible.
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How marijuana can help sciatica symptoms

Medical marijuana is often suggested for people who suffer from chronic nerve pain. The reason for this is because it reduces the connections between the parts of the brain that process emotions and sensory signals, therefore, reducing the pain. And its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the inflammation associated with sciatica and has become one of the best forms of treatment for chronic pain and sciatica. 

There are different strains of medical marijuana, and the best strain for sciatica is going to be the best strain for inflammation and pain, which is the strain that has the highest levels of CBD. 

All strains are derived from two main strains – Indica and Sativa.  Indicia has higher levels of CBD, making it the best option for sciatica pain. Any dispensary will help you choose products from the best edibles for nerve pain and CBD for sciatica. 

Getting your medical marijuana card for sciatica

If you believe that cannabis is a good option for treating your sciatica pain, you’ll need to first be diagnosed by a medical marijuana doctor. They are the only doctor that can recommend medical marijuana as a treatment option for you. Once you’ve been qualified to receive cannabis, you’ll be able to apply for your medical card.

The cannabis doctor will help you determine which type of cannabis will be best for you and which form will be suitable. 

At Elevate Holistics, we provide telehealth services to qualify medical conditions and recommend medical marijuana. These appointments are performed from the comfort of your home.