Sciatica is a nerve pain which arises due to the irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The pain can range from mild to severe in intensity. Usually, Sciatica is caused when the nerve in the lower spine is compressed. The pain is not only limited to the back, it begins from the lower back, buttocks, runs down the legs on the outer side. It is described in medical terms as lumbosacral radiculopathy.
The sciatic nerve is said to be the longest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve controls numerous muscles in the legs. Plus, it creates sensation to the skin of the foot and the half of the lower leg. Sciatica can be a symptom of other conditions. As per the reports, 40% of the individuals experience sciatica once in their lives.
Typical characteristics of Sciatic Pain
- Starts from lower back, passes through the buttock, goes down upto the knee, and can go further down, on the outer side of the leg. It is a radiating kind of pain.
- Pain can be precipitated or aggravated by movement, laughing, coughing, deep breathing or exercising.
- The pain can be caused by sitting in the same position for long periods. (e.g. Driving, riding a bike, sitting on a chair for long duration at a stretch etc.)
- Pain can be burning in character, the person may feel like it’s a pins and needles sensation, or a pricking kind of pain.
Other common symptoms of sciatica are:
People can experience a tingling or numbness in the feet and toes, or in the same area as that of the pain.
What are the treatments for sciatica?
- Acute sciatica treatments
Pain killers including NSAIDS are used.
Developing a habit of light stretching or walking can be a great exercise for the sciatic nerve. Also, cold or hot compresses can help you to reduce the pain. However, not all the painkillers are suitable, so make sure you consult your neurologist before consumption.
- Chronic sciatica treatments
Chronic sciatica treatments may include medication and self-care. Physiotherapy complements the oral medications.
- Exercises and stretches
You can perform numerous exercises to relieve pressure on the lower back. It will help you to reduce symptoms.
- Surgery for sciatica
If you have tried everything and nothing works, then there are numerous surgical options available.
Lumbar laminectomy that widens the spinal cord to reduce the pressure on the nerves.
Discectomy is another surgical option that removes the herniated disk.
A surgeon will first check the benefits and the risks of the surgery and then suggest the best suitable option.
Consult an expert neurologist for Sciatica Nerve Pain and Back pain.
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