Sciatica S1 is a specific diagnosis describing symptoms which originate from nerve root impingement of the sacral 1 spinal nerve. S1 is one of the nerve structures which eventually create the sciatic nerve lower in the pelvic anatomy. S1 is also a nerve root involved in a diversity of lower back and buttocks pain syndromes, due to anatomical compression concerns, disease processes and oxygen deprivation syndromes.
This essay provides patients with the facts of S1 nerve compression conditions. We will discuss where symptoms are likely to express themselves, as well as other possible explanations for lower body nerve pain involving S1.
The S1 root leaves the spine at the first sacral vertebral level. This is the beginning of the sacral spine and is an area affected by degenerative disc disease and herniated discs, as well as general spinal degeneration, including lumbosacral osteoarthritis, almost universally.
S1 serves the motor and sensory needs of much of the lower anatomy, in a pattern beginning at the lumbosacral junction and tracing a pathway over the back of the thigh, to the rear outer aspect of the knee and calf to the outer, upper side of the foot and the small toe.
Problems with the S1 spinal nerve can cause pain, tingling, numbness and/or weakness in any or all areas served, creating a sciatic nerve pain pattern which can be truly torturous. Many patients have chronic symptoms concentrated in the entire back of the leg and buttocks.
S1 is surely involved in the majority of sciatica conditions. However, L4 and L5 are typically represented, as well. Each nerve root corresponds to highly specific anatomical locations, so symptoms are easily correlated by a spinal neurologist. Always be sure to speak to your neurologist to ensure that the diagnostic theory can adequately explain the actual symptoms you are suffering.
In a few cases, the symptoms do not match S1 at all, despite a diagnosis of S1 sciatica from a non-neurologist. In far more instances, S1 is not the only nerve root involved, since the symptoms are too spread out over a wide area to possibly be caused by S1 exclusively.
Pinched nerves at S1 are the most common single source of spinal sciatica. This is because the lumbosacral juncture is basically subject to universal degeneration and is the region which is most likely to be affected by both central spinal stenosis and foraminal stenosis. The occurrence of disc and bone pathologies is commonplace at the lowest of lumbar spinal levels, making sciatica a very real possibility when S1 is affected. However, just know that there are other possible explanations for S1 symptomatic locations, as well. Worse still, these true causes of pain often exist with circumstantial lumbar degeneration which unfairly receives the blame for causing the pain.
Be sure to eliminate any disease, diabetes, oxygen deprivation, higher level central stenosis, localized neuropathy, piriformis constriction of the sciatic nerve and sacroiliac joint concerns before settling on an S1 pinched nerve diagnosis. Your neurologist will prove very helpful during this process, so make sure to use their services every step of the way.