Sciatica is the pain radiating along the path where the sciatica nerves run, having branches from the lower back to hips going down both legs. Sciatica typically affects only a side of the body and is most common for those who have suffered from herniated disk, where the bone spur on the area narrowing of spine compresses a portion of the nerve. The condition causes inflammation, numbness, and pain in the affected region.

Even though the pain of sciatica can be intense, in most of the cases it could be resolved through non-surgical methods. Only those who suffer significant weakness in their legs and changes in the bladder or bowel may need surgical procedures.

Symptoms

In sciatica, the pain radiates from the lumbar region of the spine to the buttocks and down to back of the leg. The patient may feel discomfort almost at any point of the nerve pathway, however the likelihood of it is following a path from the lower back to the buttock and along the back of calf and the thigh area.

The pain could be very mild to acute excruciating pain or burning sensation. There are people who say they feel like electric shock and gets worse while coughing or sneezing. If a patient is sitting for a long time, the condition could aggravate. In this kind of pain, only a side of the body is affected. Some people also complain of numbness, muscle weakness or tingling in the foot or leg affected. You might get pain in a part of the leg and experience numbness in another part.

When should you consult a physician?

In case it is mild sciatica, the pain and the condition goes away gradually over time. You need to call your doctor in case the symptoms or the pain lasts for more than a week, in case it is severe or gets worse over time. Receive immediate medical attention if there is sudden and severe pain in the lower portion of the back or leg, associated with muscle weakness or numbness in the leg. This pain usually follows a violent injury like that of a traffic accident, or in case there is trouble controlling the bladder or bowels.

Causes

When the sciatica nerves are pinched, maybe due to herniated disk in the spine or overgrowth of a bone known as bone spur on the vertebrae. In rare cases, the nerve could be compressed due to a tumour or even damaged by diabetes etc.

Risk Factors

The most common risk factors arise due to age-related conditions that change the spine structure. Conditions like bone spurs and herniated disks are the most common causes behind sciatica.

Obesity could also increase stress on the spinal cord and trigger sciatica. Apart from that, doing a job that needs you to twist the back, or carry heavy loads, even driving for long periods might be the reason behind getting sciatica. For those who sit for long hours or lead a sedentary life, sciatica is more likely to attack than those who lead an active life. Also, one of the main triggers are for those who suffer from diabetes as it increases all risks of nerve damage.

Cura Multispecialty Hospital’s Treatment

At Cura, the utmost attention is to stop the condition from worsening at any cost. Our physicians request patients with sciatica to exercise regularly so that the back is strong. They also inform the patients to pay special attention to the core muscles in the abdomen and lower back absolutely essential for proper alignment and posture. They request the patient to keep a good body mechanics and lower the risk of triggering this condition.