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The sacral nerve is actually a group of five nerves emerging from the sacrum. There are two groups of these nerves. The sacrum is a large triangle-shaped bone located at the bottom of the spine and top of the pelvic cavity. This bone basically wedges itself between the hip bones. The sacral vertebrae are used when numbering each sacral nerve.
The two pairs of sacral nerves are part of the vertebral system that make up the nerves of the spinal column. Each of these nerves is formed from the root of the spinal cord and are used to carry axons. Axons are nerve fibers used to conduct electrical impulses away from the bodies of the cells.
There are five sacral vertebrae in the spine, and each sacral nerve corresponds to these vertebrae. When problems develop in the nerves located in this area of the body, it is often referred to as sciatica. Since each nerve is located near the tail bone, many things can cause damage to this area. A lumbar herniated disc, childbirth, surgery in this region of the body, arthritis, and occasionally endometriosis are some of the conditions known to cause sciatica.
When a sacral nerve is damaged, the patient often experiences a burning or stabbing type of pain that is frequently described as a shooting pain. It is very common for this pain to only be felt on one side of the body, depending on the exact nerve that has experienced the damage. Numbness or weakness of the leg is also reported when a sacral nerve has experienced damage.
It is possible for sacral nerve damage to lead to problems with bladder or bowel control. This is due to inflammation or compression at the nerve roots. This can be a very serious medical condition, so a doctor should be consulted right away in this instance.
There are steps that can be taken in an effort to protect these nerves from any damage. Practicing proper posture at all times is an excellent way to start. Regular exercise used to improve and promote overall health is also useful in protecting the nerves of the spine. Even choosing a good mattress can have healthy benefits for the nerves and muscles of the spine, thus preventing much of the pain associated with nerve damage.
If damage does occur involving the sacral nerves, doctors often prescribe medications as well as physical therapy as a way to heal the nerve tissue. This is often all that is needed for a full recovery. There are occasional instances where surgery becomes necessary, especially in cases of prolonged pain or incontinence.