Sciatica is described as the chronic nerve pain in the leg caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The pain usually originates in the lower back, radiates deep into the buttock, and travels down the leg.
Some common causes of Sciatica include:
- Lumbar herniated disc. As per the medical research, 90% of Sciatica is caused by a lumbar herniated disc. The herniated disc compresses one or more spinal nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve.
- Degeneration. Degenerative tissues in the lumbar spine can also sometimes compress or irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis. When the spinal canal narrows down, Spinal Stenosis can occur. This is relatively common in adults older than 60.
- Spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis occurs when small stress or a fracture causes one vertebral body to slip forward on another. Sciatica may often result from nerve compression following the disc space collapse, fracture, and forward slipping of the vertebral body. This type is more common in younger adults.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica may often cause pain in the front, back, or sides of the thigh and leg. A few common symptoms include:
- Pain. Sciatica pain can be either constant or intermittent. The pain is usually like a burning sensation and is more severe in the leg than the back.
- Altered sensation. Numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation can be felt at the back of the leg.
- Weakness. A feeling of fatigue may be felt in the leg and foot. This feeling of heaviness in the affected limb may make it difficult to lift the foot off the floor.
- Change in posture may aggravate or relieve pain. Sciatica pain may feel worse while sitting, trying to stand up, standing for a long time, bending the spine forward, twisting the spine, or while coughing.
Physical examinationThis helps the doctor to identify the type and underlying cause of the pain. Sciatica typically follows the areas of skin – called the dermatome – that are covered by the sciatic nerve. The pain may also arise in other deeper tissues outside the dermatomal regions. The pain that occurs from the nerve roots has a dermatomal distribution, except S1 nerve pain, which typically involves a dermatomal pain pattern. Medical tests for Sciatica A few clinical tests for Sciatica include:
- Straight leg raise (SLR) test. The patient is made to lay on his/her back and lift one leg at a time with the other leg laying flat or bent at the knee.
- Slump test. The patient is seated upright with hands behind the back. The patient bends forward at the hip. The neck is bent down with the chin touching the chest, and one knee is extended to a degree possible. If pain occurs in this position, Sciatica may be present.
A medical history may include the doctor reviewing the following:
- The onset of pain and other symptoms
- Type, nature, and duration of pain
- Trauma or injury to the back or hip area
- The occurrence of muscle spasms or cramps in the pelvic region
- Decreased strength in the leg
Preventions tips for sciatica pain treatment
Increase physical activityExercising is the most crucial factor in helping relieve Sciatica. Aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, and other activities that increase your heart rate without causing more pain are quite beneficial. Strength training such as exercises using free weights or weight machines that involve contracting muscles without noticeable movement is also helpful—flexibility training like yoga, tai chi, Pilates increase both flexibility and strength.
Strengthen your coreMuscles in the back, sides, pelvis, and buttocks form the part of your core. Strengthening all of these muscles can majorly help to provide strength to your spine. Many types of physical exercises, such as yoga and Pilates, can strengthen the core muscles.
Avoid sitting for long periodsProlonged periods of sitting can often put pressure on the discs and ligaments in the low back. Try to take frequent breaks while working for long hours.
Weight managementBeing overweight can increase your risk for Sciatica. The increased weight puts pressure on your spine and can lead to herniated discs.
Practice good postureIt is crucial to sit or stand in the correct posture. Do not slouch or hump your shoulders. If you work at a computer, try to take frequent breaks. Position your monitor so that you can see it without bending your head down or tilting it back.
How to differentiate Sciatica from other causes of back pain?
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in our body. Sometimes the Sciatica pain can often be confused with regular back pain. The sharp, searing pain from Sciatica can extend down the sciatic nerve to your foot in some cases. Other sciatica symptoms can include numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected leg or foot. A herniated disc, bone spur, or other structural problems are usually the cause of Sciatica.
Get Best Sciatica Treatment in Udaipur
Shriram Spine Hospital offers one of the most advanced Sciatica treatments in Udaipur. The leading spine specialist center of North India, Shriram Spine Hospital, believes in providing fast as well as efficient services to the patients. It provides the highest standards of clinical care and surgery. It can be proudly considered as the Sciatica specialist in Udaipur. Backed by a team of highly efficient medical staff and surgeons, Shriram Spine Hospital also provides non-surgical Sciatica treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes Sciatica?
The pain originates from the lower back, running across the buttocks and then down each leg. If there is any pressure on the sciatic nerve, it may become irritated, and one may then experience symptoms.
How does it happen?
Sciatica pain could be the result of tightness in the muscles in your hips and legs, an accident, or repetitive motions you may go through at work or home every day.
How soon can we find relief?
Every patient is different, and how fast they find relief is an individual experience. Some people may experience a big difference after just one adjustment, while others may need a series of modifications before finding comfort. The treatment works for a large percentage of people without surgical intervention.
How does Chiropractic help?
Your chiropractor can use some techniques to adjust your spine, reducing the pressure that may be placed on your sciatic nerve. They may also be able to recommend daily stretching exercises to help reduce tightness in the muscles. They may also help you to strengthen your back and deal with your sciatic pain.