Millions of American men and women suffer from back pain often with pain down the back of the leg. This can be a significant medical problem that needs attention and can many times be helped and often can be cured. This blog will define sciatica, discuss the diagnosis, and some of the treatments that can make the pain go away.
Sciatica. What is it?
Sciatica is back pain that shoots down the legs. It can result from the compression of nerves in the spinal canal and is painful. People describe a burning or an electrical feeling with sciatica that worsens with walking or sometimes just out of the blue while sitting or laying flat. Other times it feels like the legs have fallen asleep and won’t wake up.
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What causes it?
Sciatica can be caused by a number of medical conditions. Most often by a herniated disc with disc material pushing through the bones of the spine and compressing the spinal nerves which sends the pain to the back of the legs. It can be caused from spinal stenosis where the spinal cord that protects the nerves that run up and down the spine to the brain is narrowed. A slipped vertebrae, where one bone has moved forward on another bone that affects the nerves, is another culprit. Here the bones of the spinal column are out of alignment. This once again, can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that send messages down the back of the legs.
What can be done about it?
We seek treatment for sciatica when the pain limits us for our activities with family, work and play. Many times even walking to the curb is enough to get our pain shifted into high gear.
Thankfully, sciatica will often resolve with simple, nonsurgical treatments. Rest, over-the counter medicines and physical therapy are a good place to start and usually prove sufficient. If the pain persists, seek out a visit with a trusted pain management physician who may be able to make the proper diagnosis. He or she may prescribe more specialized medicines better suited to sciatica or perform an epidural steroid injection which can quickly decrease symptoms.
If you begin to experience any weakness in the legs, pins and needles sensations in the legs, or have a new problem holding the bowel or bladder, do not delay in seeing a physician. These symptoms need more emergent treatment.
Surgery is an option for those when the pain persists beyond the more basic treatment. Please contact me or at 504-732-1094 for more information.
Bottom Line: Back pain is one of man’s most common maladies affecting the human race. It affects nearly every man or woman and causes havoc in their daily lives. Help is available. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Contact a specialist in pain management near you and become free of pain medications. To your good health and free of back pain.