What You Should Know About Sciatica

Sciatica pain is found along the sciatic nerve path. This nerve branches from the lower back through the buttocks and into each leg. Commonly, sciatic pain only affects one side of your body, and it typically occurs when a bone spur or herniated disk compresses the nerve at some point. Additional information about this condition is outlined below.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica is characterized by back pain that radiates through the lower spine and into the back. This pain can vary greatly from a dull ache to a sharp burning pain. Sometimes patients may feel an electric shock or jolt-like sensation, and this could be worse if you sneeze or cough. Sitting for a prolonged period of time can also aggravate the symptoms.

Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica is caused by pinching of the sciatic nerve. Rarely, this compression can be done by a tumor or the nerve can be damaged by certain diseases, such as diabetes. You should see your Lithia Springs chiropractor if self-care measures does not help ease your pain. Immediate medical attention should be sought if:

Treatment Options

Some of the most common treatment options for sciatica include the following:

• Medications: Certain medications may be prescribed for pain due to sciatica, including narcotics, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories. Anti-seizure medications or tricyclic antidepressants may also be used.

• Physical therapy: Once pain improves, physical therapy can be used to strengthen your back muscles and to improve your flexibility.

• Surgery: This is usually a last resort and is only used if compression has caused significant weakness or bladder incontinence.

• Steroid injections: An injection of a corticosteroid can suppress inflammation and reduce pain, but this is only a temporary solution, as results usually fade within a few months.

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