Just like a weird and scary monster out of science fiction, sciatica is also something that should concern every patient who experiences it. This is not a medical condition itself but rather a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Sciatica is pain in the leg, with possible tingling, numbing sensation or general weakness from the lower back that travels towards the buttocks and the leg.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica pain is felt along the area where the sciatic nerve runs. It is also felt in the buttock area with the pain travel towards the back of the leg, in some cases even to the foot. Sciatica is felt only in one leg at a time. Some patients also complain of an electric shock like sensation along the leg.
This kind of condition can range from mild to incapacitating pain, which will require medical intervention. The pain is usually felt during times when you cough, sneeze, go to the toilet or do anything that may involve stress on your lower back.
The good thing is most sciatica pain will usually go away in a few weeks and does not result in any permanent damage. Nevertheless, for patients who continues to feel the pain they need to get medical attention. Emergency treatments are also necessary for those who can no longer control their bowels or bladder or if there is uncontrollable weakness and numbness of the muscles.
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
There are a number of reasons why you may experience sciatica pain. The most common reason is irritation of the nerve root of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. There are also diseases that may cause sciatica pain. These diseases should be addressed in order to take out the sciatica pain for good. Disease like lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease (such as breakdown of the spinal disc), and Spondylolisthesis are common reasons why you experience sciatica pain.
Aside from these spine related problems, pregnancy can also cause sciatica nerve pain. The extra pressure on the mother’s lower back may irritate the nerve. Lastly, other culprits are being overweight or obese, lack of exercise and sleeping on uncomfortable mattress can also result to sciatica.
Doctors will usually check your lower back using imaging tools like MRI, X-rays, and even CT scans are all used to check for nerve damage or back problems.
Taking Out The Pain
SApaindoc.com in San Antonio, Texas shares that there are now a number of ways to take out sciatica. For sciatica pain that is not caused by lower back related condition, pain killers using NSAIDs can be used. Doctors will also recommend using hot and cold compress to reduce the pain, the packs are applied alternatively on the buttocks and back side of the leg.
For chronic sciatica doctors will check if you have back related problems. In such cases, the course of treatment will most likely be to treat the medical condition first. Surgery to remove herniated disc or bone growth can be an option. Your GP may also recommend injection of corticosteroid to release anti-inflammatory medication directly unto the affected area.
Sciatica pain can cause major health problems especially in terms of movement. It is important that you get the right treatment to avoid further complications. There are various treatments for this pain available; you need to educate yourself to know which one will suit your condition.