What causes the sciatic nerve to become pinched, then “released”?


I may be wrong, but my understanding of when I get that unbearable pain is because the sciatic nerve is pinched due to various reasons. My question is, after it is pinched what causes whatever caused the pinching to release it? How do muscle relaxers help?

I hope my questions make sense.

In: 9

The sciatic nerve comes away from the spine from just above the sacrum and runs underneath the glutes and various adductors attached to your femur. Sometimes the inflammation of those muscles causes them to irritate the sciatic nerve, sending pain to the lower back and/or down into the leg. This is often referred to as “sciatica.” This is one way (and possibly the most common way) that the sciatic nerve can be “pinched.” Targeted massage in the area of the glutes frequently reduces the pressure on the nerve, relieving the pain.

In my case, it’s because one of my discs slips out of my spinal column and presses against the sciatic nerve, “pinching” it. Muscle relaxers help relieve tension and the disc can move back into place. Pain killers to further relieve muscular tension, hot baths to take gravity off the spine, sleeping with a pillow between the knees, and various exercises (like exercise trampolines) all help as well.

The answer to your question is more complex than an eli5 tbh, pain science is constantly evolving and low back/sciatic pain still somewhat baffles medical professionals to this day.

That being said it typically indicates your nerve is aggravated/inflamed in some way which may happen for various reasons, like disc herniation, stenosis, or entrapment of the nerve in some form of tissue. That being said sciatic pain can still occur in the absence of structural abnormality and many people with structural abnormality don’t end up with pain which seriously muddies the water.

The “release” may be due to your herniation healing or simply just the inflammation reducing over time. Muscle relaxors essentially calm your muscles and nerves down which can help the pain, especially if muscle spasm is inflaming the nerve or if you’re excessively bracing due to pain and causing further inflammation. Some people believe you can use massage/other hands on techniques to “release” muscles or other tissue but to be honest that has yet to really be supported in the research.

Tldr: pain science is super complicated but pretty interesting to learn about 😂