Sciatic Pain Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Sciatica is pain caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. The Sciatic nerve is the longest and the important nerve in the body. When this nerve is irritated, it causes pain. The pain would range from mild to severe. Sciatic pain originates from the lower back and radiates to the buttocks, thighs and legs on one side.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica pain occurs when the sciatic nerve gets pinched due to some underlying medical condition. The following spinal cord disorders can cause Sciatica:
- Herniated or slipped disk: Herniated disk causes pressure on the root of a nerve. It is one of the main causes of sciatica. When the herniated disk occurs to the vertebrae of the lower back, it causes pressure on the sciatic nerve leading to Sciatica.
- Degenerative disk disease: It is caused by the wear and tear of the disk between vertebrae of the spine. The wearing down of disks narrows down the nerve passageways called spinal stenosis. This can pinch the sciatic nerve.
- Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is associated with degenerative disk disorder. When a spinal bone or vertebra move forward one over another, it pinches the nerves that make up the sciatic nerve.
- Piriformis syndrome: Piriformis syndrome is caused when the Piriformis muscle tightens or contracts leading to Sciatica.
What are the Signs of Sciatica?
As Sciatica is caused by the injury or damage to the sciatic nerve, there would be other symptoms of nerve damage along with the pain. The following are the symptoms of Sciatica:
- The pain becomes worse with the movement
- Numbness or weakness in the legs or feet
- Loss of movement in severe cases
- Sensations of pins and needles that cause painful tingling in the toes or feet
- Few people may experience incontinence in which the bladder or bowels become uncontrollable
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
It is important to identify the root cause of sciatica. This helps your health provider to determine and treat you in the best possible way. Your doctor conducts a physical exam and also considers your medical history. He may also ask to perform certain actions such as walking on toes, lift a single leg, and rising from a squatting position. If the symptoms become worse with those movements, it can be a sign of sciatica.
To determine the root cause, your doctor would suggest a few diagnostic tests namely CT scan, EMG, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and X-Ray.
How is Sciatica Treated?
The main goal of treating Sciatica is to reduce the pain and improve mobility. Based on the root cause, most of the Sciatica cases can be healed by treatments such as:
- Applying hot or cold pack: Ice packs can be used to reduce pain and swelling. Ice packs should be wrapped in a towel and then apply to the affected area. Apply cold pack every day for twenty minutes. You can use a hot pack after several days.
- Using medications: Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. He may also suggest getting spine injections near the affected area to reduce inflammation.
- Perform stretches: Performing stretching exercises for strengthening the core muscles can help relieve the pain.
- Alternative therapies: Alternative methods such as chiropractic care, yoga, and acupuncture can be used to treat and manage sciatica pain.
If the above treatment methods do not reduce the symptoms, spinal surgery is performed. The surgery removes pressure on the pinched nerve.
Suffering from Sciatica? Visit Nikhil Hospital
If you are suffering from Sciatica, visit Nikhil Hospital to avoid serious problems. Nikhil Hospital is one of the Best Neurology Hospitals in Hyderabad. The staff is intended to serve the patients with the utmost care, compassion and commitment. To make an appointment, call us.