“sciatica” and “back pain” are commonly used interchangeably. Sciatica, on the other hand, is more than just a pain. Humans have the longest and widest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve.
It runs down the legs, going through the buttocks, from the lower back to below the knee.
This nerve governs several muscles in the lower legs and delivers feeling to the skin of the foot and the bulk of the lower leg. Sciatica is a symptom of another disease that affects the sciatic nerve, not a disease itself. According to some estimates, up to 40% of people will experience sciatica at some point in their lives.
What exactly is sciatica?
Sciatica is a painful ailment that affects the back and legs. When pain travels down the sciatic nerve route, it is called sciatica. It travels down to the foot from the spine, crossing the hip and buttocks along the way.
A variety of factors can cause sciatica. The disease usually improves with time, either independently or with therapy.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Pain, tingling, and numbness in the leg are sciatica symptoms. Sciatica is a type of nerve discomfort that radiates down the back of the leg from the buttocks, most commonly when sitting, sneezing, coughing, or going to the bathroom. Lower back discomfort, tingling, pins, and needles, numbness, or weakness in your leg are all possible symptoms.
Even though sciatica pain can be severe, most patients find that their symptoms improve over time. Because sciatica is considered a more common severe back problem, it’s best to consult a doctor as soon as the symptoms appear. For the diagnosis of sciatica, the doctor will review your medical history and examine your spine and legs.
If you have trouble regulating your bladder or bowels, or if you experience weakness, numbness, or extreme pain, you should get medical help right once.
What causes sciatica?
Many factors can contribute to sciatica, including spinal injury, bone spurs, narrow spinal canal, or tight buttock muscles. In many situations, patients cannot pinpoint the damage resulting from the disease.
There are several reasons for sciatica, including:
- alterations in the spine as people become older
- Obesity can increase the strain on the spine.
- Lifting heavy objects or twisting your back
- sitting for a long time
- Diabetic retinopathy increases the risk of nerve damage.
How is sciatica pain treated?
The best therapy for sciatica will differ from patient to patient and will be determined by the reason, length, intensity of the pain, and other considerations. The following are some of the most frequent and effective sciatica pain treatments:
- Avoid sitting for long periods
- Regular mild exercise
- Regular stretching
- Physical therapy
- Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relief medications
- Prescription pain medications
- Alternating warm and cool compresses
Mild sciatic pain usually goes away on its own with time. One or two days of bed rest may be required when you initially get sciatica. However, it’s critical to get back to work as quickly as possible to keep your spine strong.
Pain relievers like paracetamol, anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals like ibuprofen, and physiotherapy are all used to treat sciatica. Most patients with sciatica improve with conservative therapies such as physiotherapy.
Seeing your doctor would be helpful. Self-care techniques will not help if your pain lasts more than a week or becomes severe over time.
If your symptoms continue, you may need a spinal anesthetic injection or, in rare situations, surgery.