If you have a stabbing lower back pain on the side whether on the right side or the left side of your back and don’t know what is causing it then, the first thing you should do, is to look at your symptoms. Is the pain a stabbing pain that runs or radiates downward through the buttocks and down the back of the leg or is more of a stiff or sore muscle ache kind of pain?
If it stiffness and/or soreness then this is just a sore or bruised muscle and a heating pad can help to ease the pain. If however, the pain is stabbing like pain and runs down the back of the leg then, chances are you are suffering from what is commonly known and referred to as sciatica.
Now the question is “What is sciatica?” Sciatica is the word used when referring to pain caused by a damaged sciatic nerve or a sciatic nerve that is being irritated by having pressure placed on it, which brings up the next question, “What is the sciatic nerve?”
The sciatic nerve (there are actual two, one on each side of the body) is the nerve that begins in the lower back, extends out of the spinal column in five places, and runs downward through the buttocks under a muscle called the Piriformis muscle, and down the leg all the way to your feet. They are the longest nerves in the body.
When this nerve, the sciatic nerve, has pressure placed on it, it becomes irritated and inflamed which is, what causes the stabbing lower back pain on one side or the other that you feel. The most common cause of this pressure is Piriformis syndrome, which is the term used to describe a bruised or damaged Piriformis muscle that has swollen due to inflammation.
The Piriformis muscle is the muscle that attaches the lower part of the spinal column to the upper part of the thighbone. As stated above the sciatic nerve run under this muscle so, when the muscle swells due to inflammation it places pressure on the sciatic nerve thus, causing the severe lower back pain that is felt on one side or the other. To ease the pain you must reduce the swelling, just as you would with any kind of inflammation, use ice packs for thirty minutes at a time, every two hours. (Be sure to place a cloth between the ice pack and skin to avoid skin damage.)
The second most common cause, is a slipped or herniated disc, If this were the case, to ease the pain immediately after it first occurs, you would do the same as above. When the sciatic nerve gets squeezes between the discs and vertebrae, it becomes irritated and inflamed and once again, just as with any type of inflammation, you treat it with cold. (Ice)
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