The nerve, formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back is said to be as the sciatic nerve. This nerve goes down through the buttock, with its branches leading at the back of the leg to the ankle and foot.
When pain is associated with sciatic nerve it is known as sciatica; that is the feeling of tingling or numbness produced by the nerve roots out of the spinal cord and into the lower back.
With the help of a medical history and physical exam, sciatica will be diagnosed by your doctor. X-rays and MRI may also be used to determine the cause of sciatica.
Irritation in the sciatic nerve can give rise to this kind of pain. One of the most common causes of sciatica is slipped disc.
Adding to the above some more causes of sciatica include:
- Degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae)
- Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back)
- Spondylolisthesis(a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one).
Other things that can lead to sciatica are
- Being Overweight
- Not exercising
- Wearing high heels
- sleeping on a mattress that is too soft
Symptoms of Sciatica Pain
You are going through sciatica if you are facing the following:
- A constant pain on one side of the rear
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Pain in the rear or leg that becomes worse when sitting, standing or walking.
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty in moving the leg or foot
Sciatica Pain Treatments
When asked to the patients, they say that the pain goes away with time. But initially some medicines and exercises are prescribed to relieve pain. Pain maybe relieved by:
- Avoid sitting unnecessarily
- Make sure you lie down taking short walks and walk that much distance you are able to without pain.
- Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).
- Apply a heating pad on the respective area for 15 to 20 minutes for 2 or 3 hours. Also try a warm shower with a heating pad that will help in relieving pain. You can also try an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes for 2 to 3 hours.
Taking the above treatments, if the pain doesn’t improve then the doctor will suggest physical therapy, injections of medicines such as steroids, stronger medicines or even surgery for severe cases.
For more information regarding Chronic Sciatic Pain and how it should be treated, feel free to call our office at (815) 464-6166.