Sciatica is the result of cascading problems in an individuals spine. Inevitably resulting from the impingement of a nerve in the spinal cord in the lower back, the problem normally manifests from one or a combination of spinal conditions such as a herniation, slipped disc, degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis.
After the impingement is removed from the nerve in the spine causing the problem the sciatica is in many cases immediately relieved. If the sciatica is not treated for an extended period of time there is a chance of lasting effects such as lingering weakness and numbness in the effected extremeties.
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Sciatica may also be known as Sciatic Nerve Pain, Pinched Sciatic Nerve.
Symptoms of Sciatica
The symptoms of sciatica are easy to spot and depending on the severity of the sciatica can be extremely uncomfortable. What can start out as some minor tingling and discomfort can eventually become almost crippling pain, numbness and weakness making it almost impossible to even walk.
Symptoms to look out for if you think you may be suffering from sciatica are:
- Pain feels worse with sitting.
- Relief is felt when moving or position changes.
- Tingling, Numbness or Weakness in lower extremeties
- Pain in lower extremeties
- Difficulty controlling bladder or bowel movements
The cause of sciatica is the impingement of a nerve in the spinal cord. This impingement in the beginning causes tingling feelings in one or more of the lower extremeties, however, if left untreated will begin to produce weakness and numbness. The pinched nerve causing the issue is normally a result of a bigger issue the spinal disc is suffering from such as spinal stenosis or a herniated disc brought on by injury or degenerative disc disease.
- Recent Injury or Fall.
Treating sciatica is all about removing the issue causing the impingement on the nerve producing the problem. The culprit is not always the same thing from one case to another so having a test such as an MRI will help the doctor determine exactly what type of treatment is best for each case.
Some treatments typically offered to individuals suffering from sciatica are:
- Ice Packs
- Heat Therapy
- Non steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs help to relieve inflammation
- Acetaminophen, Tylenol or other over the counter pain reliver to relieve pain