Important Facts That You Should Know About Sciatica
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Important Facts That You Should Know About Sciatica

Understanding Sciatica

Sciatica is an excruciating pain which starts in the lower back and moves down the leg. It can occur gradually due to the general wear and tear of the muscles and it can also happen when one or more nerve roots are compressed due to spinal disc herniation. According to the eminent Santa Monica spine surgeons, understanding the workings of these two sciatic nerves can help you avoid this agonizing pain in the lower back and leg.

The sciatic nerve controls the muscles in the back of your knees and lower legs. We can experience feelings in the back of our thighs, lower legs and the soles of our feet with the help of these two important nerves. When a sciatic nerve is injured or damaged, we feel pain in the lower section of the back or our leg.

Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms of sciatica affect people usually after the age of 30 and below 50. Also, many people experience a herniated disk. The discs in your spine are like cushions supporting it and also absorbing any shock that hits the spine. If something happens to these discs, they protrude between your spinal bones and create pressure on the sciatic nerve roots which is the main cause of Sciatica.

  • Some basic symptoms of Sciatica are listed below.
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Excruciating pain in the back of the leg
  • Feeling of Burning in the leg along with pain in the back
  • Stinging and numbness in the lower back and leg
  • Weakness in the back and leg

A shooting pain is not the only symptom of this condition. Depending on the roots that have been affected, some people may only experience a numbness and a tingling sensation. It all depends on which roots of the nerve are affected. Usually, a complete bed-rest is recommended by the Santa Monica spine surgeons, because sciatica can worsen due to sitting and walking. Even sneezing and coughing can boost the sciatic pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When a doctor wants to determine whether your back and leg pain is, in fact, sciatic pain, he/she may give you a thorough physical check-up. Lifting the leg while lying straight on the back is the most common physical examination to find out if you experience a shooting pain down your leg starting from the lower back as it is a common symptom of sciatica. It is essential to monitor the strength of reflexes in the leg.

A patient may be asked to get an MRI scan or an X-ray in some cases, though it is not applicable in all the cases. If there is no pain, then an MRI can determine the numbness and tingling in the leg.

Listed below are some of the ways in which Sciatica can be treated:

  • Complete bed rest for a few days
  • General painkillers available over the counter
  • Ice and hot packs
  • Mild stretches or physiotherapy with a trainer
  • Muscle relaxants for spasms in the muscles
  • On rare occasions, steroids

In other exceptional cases, spine surgery under the supervision of the best Santa Monica spine surgeons.

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