Sciatica Treatment & Diagnostics in Chembur, Mumbai
Sciatica is the pain caused by pinching or compression of a nerve called the sciatic nerve in the lower back. This nerve is the longest and broadest nerve in your body. It runs from your lower back, through the buttocks, down to the legs, and ends below the knee.
A sharp pain radiating from your lumbar (lower) spinal area to your buttocks reaching the back of your leg is the hallmark symptom of this condition.
What are the Symptoms?
Other symptoms of sciatica include:
- A feeling of weakness or numbness in your lower back, buttocks, leg, or feet.
- Pain gets worse with movement.
- Loss of bladder and bowel control.
- Sometimes, the pain can feel like an electric shock.
- Pain in one section of your leg and numbness in another area.
- Tingling sensations like needles in the feet and toes.
What are the Causes of Sciatica?
Different medical conditions can contribute to the occurrence of sciatica. They are:
- Herniated disc: One of the most common reasons is a herniated disc. It puts pressure on a nerve root. If the herniated disc is one of the vertebrae of your lower back, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis: In this, the spinal canal narrows down unusually. The space within the spinal cord and the nerves get cramped due to this.
- Degenerative disc: The discs between your vertebrae wear out, narrowing the nerve passageways. It can pinch the sciatic nerve roots.
- Injury: If you have suffered a trauma or injury that has damaged the sciatic nerve.
- Tumors: Growth of tumors in the lumbar spine can constrict the sciatic nerve.
- Piriformis syndrome: It is a rare neuromuscular disease. It occurs in the piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks. When this muscle suffers a spasm, it can disturb the sciatic nerve.
- Osteoarthritis: As you age, bone spurs can develop in your spine and compress your lower back nerves.
What are the Risk Factors?
You are at greater risk if:
- You have suffered a spinal injury.
- Are overweight because the more weight you carry, the more pressure it creates on your spine and muscles.
- Your lower back muscles are weak and lack core strength.
- Have a job that requires you to lift heavy things or one where you have to sit for long hours.
- You do not follow proper body postures during sitting, lifting weights, or while exercising.
- You have diabetes because this disease causes nerve damage.
- You are not careful about your bone and muscle health as you age.
- You smoke. Nicotine can weaken your bones and harm your spinal tissues.
- You have osteoarthritis that causes a significant amount of damage to your spine and nerves.
When to See A Doctor?
If you suffer from a mild form of sciatica, it might go away with time. However, if self-care methods fail to provide relief and the pain intensifies, you must see a doctor.
Seek medical advice if:
- The pain progresses from mild to stinging, which leads to numbness in your legs.
- If you have trouble controlling your bladder and bowel movements.
You can request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Chembur, Mumbai.
Call1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.
What are the Different Methods for Managing Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain can worsen due to sitting and standing for long hours, sneezing, coughing, lifting things, or twisting. The pain management methods for sciatica include:
- Hot or ice packs: Switch between an ice pack or a heating pad, whichever feels better to you.
- Medications: There are different types of oral medications, like:
- Pain relief medications: Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can offer temporary relief.
- Muscle relaxants: Your doctor can prescribe muscle relaxants to soothe muscle spasms.
- Pain medications: Pain medications a doctor prescribes for extreme back pain.
- Antidepressants: These may be given if you suffer from chronic low back pain.
- Physical therapy: If your symptoms are not severe but persistently trouble you for over two weeks, your doctor may advise physiotherapy. Proper exercises can lower the pain to a great extent and prevent the pain from coming back.
A physiotherapist or a physiatrist guides you on which exercises can prove the best in your condition. A few points to remember:
- Exercise as instructed by the physiotherapist.
- Do these exercises sincerely to get the maximum benefits.
- Tell the physiotherapist if a particular exercise increases the pain.
- Do not strain yourself.
- Spinal injections: Your doctor gives you an injection of anti-inflammatory medicine to lessen the pain and swelling.
- Complementary and alternative therapies: There are some alternative therapies, which many people find helpful in relieving the pain caused by sciatica.
- Biofeedback – A therapist attaches electrode and finger sensors that send signals to a monitor and employs different relaxation exercises.
- Acupuncture – An acupuncture expert inserts fine needles at specific points on your skin.
- Chiropractic therapy – It involves manual manipulation. A chiropractor works on enhancing the alignment of your spine.
- Massage therapy – Some forms of massages can improve blood circulation and relax your muscles.
- Surgery: If your symptoms do not improve by the above methods, you must consider the surgical options, which are:
- Lumbar laminectomy – Doctors widen the spinal cord in the lower back region to lower the pressure on the nerves.
- Discectomy – The herniated disc is partially or entirely removed.
Most cases of sciatica are treatable without surgery. Appropriate self-care practices and time are needed for smooth healing. But if these measures do not provide relief, you must consult a physician. Your physician can guide you about the possible treatment choices.
Usually, it affects one leg at a time. However, it is possible for both legs to be affected. It depends on which nerve in your spinal column is under pressure.
Most people recover from sciatica. However, if the compressed nerve is severely injured, it can cause chronic pain and numbness in your foot, making it difficult for you to walk. Permanent nerve damage is also a potential complication of sciatica.
A few unavoidable factors are sciatica due to pregnancy, degenerative disc, or an accidental fall. Apart from these, you can take certain protective steps like:
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid gaining weight.
- Maintain proper postures.