Intriguing facts about the sciatic nerve


Our bodies are pretty remarkable things; the way everything works together, and how our bodies heal is actually pretty impressive. There are so many stunning things we know about the human body, but there is also a lot we don’t know about it as well. When it comes to the inner workings of the body, we just know what the doctor’s tell us, and there are some areas that can be more troublesome than others – the sciatic nerve being a big one.

Many of us will have encountered problems in the past with our sciatic nerve, and if you have you’ll definitely have known about it! The largest nerve in your body, it runs from each side of the lower spine into the buttocks, as well as running down to the feet. Pain in your sciatic nerve can border on almost unbearable sometimes. Here are a few things we never knew about the sciatic nerve.

It’s actually a group of nerves

You could be forgiven for thinking the sciatic nerve is just a single nerve running all over the lower body, but it’s not. In fact, it’s actually proven that the sciatic nerve is made up of a group of five nerves that run down on either side of the spine. It’s a couple of lumbar nerves, teamed up with three of the nerves in the spine to make up what we know as the sciatic nerve.

The brain plays a big role

If you’ve ever injured your spine, you might think the connection was between the nerve and the spine, but it’s not actually. You see, injuries to the sciatic nerve, more often than not, actually affect the brain as opposed to the actual nerve itself. If you severely injure your spinal cord, you’ll find that the nerve itself is just fine, but the connection between spine and brain has been severed. When this happens, it is almost impossible to get it back. However, recent tests on animals have shown that there could be breakthroughs in the future.

Back injuries cause sciatic pain

There are several different things that can cause sciatic nerve pain, but by far and away the most common is back injuries. That’s not to say that all back injuries will result in sciatic nerve pain, but often this is the case. Generally, a herniated disc at the base of the spine is what leads to this pain, as a result of the exiting nerves being highly sensitive. If you have ever had a back injury that has resulted in sciatic nerve pain, you’ll understand just how painful it can be.

The name comes from the 15th Century

Have you ever wondered where the name sciatic comes from? It’s a fairly unusual name that you wouldn’t expect to hear in the English language. But, the name actually originates from back in the 15th Century, in Florence to be exact. It was originally known as ‘ischiatica’ since it was believed it came from tuberculosis. This is wrong of course, as we now know, but the name seems to have stuck.

The sciatic nerve is a key part of the central nervous system and one of the most important nerves in the entire body. It can also cause crippling pain when damaged and can become a medical emergency. It’s important to try to look after your sciatic nerve as best you can because sciatic nerve pain is nothing to joke about.