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what is Sciatica, treatment of Sciatica, causes of Sciatica

Sciatica

  • Posted on- Mar 14, 2017
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Sciatica is the name given to pain that occurs along the sciatic nerve and spread down to one or both legs from the lower back. The sciatic nerve is the most extensive and broad nerve in the human body. It passes from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs ending just below the skin. The irritation in sciatic nerve leads to pain in lower back, which may extend up to the knees. There are mainly two types of sciatica pain: Acute Sciatica and Chronic Sciatica.

Acute or short-term sciatica pain usually lasts for 4-8 weeks and can be managed at home there is no requirement of medical help. One can use hot and cold packs and do regular exercise to reduce the symptoms related to acute sciatica.

Chronic or long-term sciatica pain usually last for more than 8 weeks and may require professional medical treatment.

Causes of Sciatica

The most common cause of sciatica is irritation in the sciatic nerve, which often results in the herniated disk (slipped disk). Some of the factors that cause irritation in the sciatic nerve are:


Symptoms

The pain due to sciatica generally occurs in one side of the lower body. Common symptoms of sciatica are:


Diagnosis of Sciatica

After examining a patient’s medical history and conducting physical exam, an orthopaedic will order a diagnostic test. Diagnostic tests for sciatica may include imaging tests such as X-rays or Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI). These diagnostic tests will provide the doctor with detailed view of compressed sciatic nerve, which will help in the treatment of sciatica.


Treatment

The treatment of sciatica depends on the type of symptoms. Acute Sciatica can be treated at home using hot and cold packs, yoga, and other exercise such as walking and stretching. Chronic Sciatica Treatment includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs such as codeine, amitripyline, and gabapentin can help in the reduction of pain and inflammation due to Sciatica. However, these medicines should be taken under medical supervision.
  • Chiropractic treatment and physiotherapy involves various exercises and electrical stimulation techniques that can provide relief from severe pain, improves flexibility, strengthen back muscles and alleviates pressure on the nerves.

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