What Patients Should Know About Sciatica

Sciatica is a relatively common problem that can result from different causes. If you think that you may be suffering from sciatica pain in Fort Wayne, then continue reading to learn some helpful information about this condition. sciatic - nerve

Causes

Your sciatic nerve is the longest in your body. This nerve begins in your lower back, runs through your hips, buttock, and legs, and continues down to your feet on both sides of your body. When pressure is put on this nerve, this can lead to sciatica symptoms. Bone spurs and spinal tumors can do this, as can a condition called spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spine. Injuries, infections, piriformis syndrome, and sacroiliitis are other possible causes. However, the most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disk in the lumbar spine. When a spinal disk herniates, the soft material in the center pushes outward. When this occurs in certain parts of the lower spine, the disk can press against the sciatic nerve.

Symptoms

If you are suffering from sciatica, then you will probably experience pain in your lower back that extends downward through the buttock and leg. Typically, sciatica pain is experienced on one side of the body and worsens with sitting, sneezing, or coughing. Sciatica can also cause the leg to feel weak, numb, or tingly. The symptoms of this condition usually come on suddenly but can last for days or weeks, and the pain and discomfort that radiates down through the leg separates sciatica from many other types of back pain.

Treatments

To diagnose sciatica, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and when they began. He may also ask you to perform certain movements to help determine if the sciatic nerve is the cause of your discomfort. Finally, your doctor may use imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans to diagnose the condition. Chiropractic adjustments, massage, ice and heat therapy, medication, physical therapy, stretching, steroid injections, and surgery are all possible treatments for sciatica.
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