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What is Sciatica

Sciatica is pain from the Sciatic Nerve pain in the leg caused by irritation or compression. Nerve tingling pain, numbness or weakness in the leg. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body being formed by several nerve endings that come from the spine. This begins at the end of the spine, passing through the buttocks and back of the thigh. When it reaches the knee it is divided between the common tibial and fibular nerve, reaching the feet. And it is on this path that it can cause tingling pain, stitches and electric shocks.

In order to cure the inflamed sciatic nerve, the treatment indicated by the traumatologist or by the physiotherapist must be carried out with medications, exercises and sometimes physiotherapy.

When there is compression or inflammation of this nerve, sciatic pain arises that causes symptoms such as severe back pain, buttocks or legs, difficulty in keeping the spine straight and pain while walking. In these cases, it is important to seek a doctor, orthopaedic surgeon or physiotherapist so that they can guide a specific and appropriate treatment to relieve pain.

 

Symptoms

A patient with sciatica has the following symptoms:

1. Pain with a tingling sensation, numbness or shock in the spine, buttocks, leg or sole.
2. Burning sensation, stitches or tired leg.
3. Weakness in one or both legs.
4. Pain that intensifies with rest.
5. Difficulty walking or staying a long time in the same position.

 

 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of sciatica pain can be made by the doctor or by the physiotherapist and are based on the signs and symptoms presented. The test seeks to check if there is any alteration of the sciatic nerve and can be performed in the consultation room.

The test consists of lying on your back and lifting the stretched leg of the stretcher, if there is a tingling or painful sensation referring down the leg below the knee, the test indicates that there is compression of the nerve. If there is a pain in the other leg this indicates a serious alteration of the spine as a disc extrusion.

Imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging can be useful. They allow evaluating the spine, helping to identify what is compressing the nerve and locate the area of pathology. In case the spine is healthy and without serious pathology such as infection or tumour, the cause of pain in sciatica may be only muscular or connective tissue and the treatment is relatively simple.

 

Treatment

The treatment for pain or inflammation in the sciatic nerve consists of the use of analgesic, anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of pills or ointments, with the use of heat packs and the performance of physical therapy with specific exercises.

Surgery is only a therapeutical option in the most severe cases. For instance, when there is a herniated disc that does not improve with non-surgical treatments. In this case, the surgeon may decide to remove the disc fragment through keyhole surgery or use of laser.

Other links 

What is Osteopathy?

What is spinal stenosis?

What is a Lumbar Decompression?

What is an endoscopic discectomy?

What is a microdiscectomy?

At the London Spine Unit, we have some of the best specialists to diagnose and treat your sciatica. Book an appointment to get a checkup.

 

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain from the Sciatic Nerve pain in the leg caused by irritation or compression. Nerve tingling pain, numbness or weakness in the leg.

How to diagnose sciatica?

The diagnosis of sciatica pain can be made by the doctor or by the physiotherapist and are based on the signs and symptoms presented. The test seeks to check if there is any alteration of the sciatic nerve and can be performed in the consultation room.

What is the treatment for sciatica?

In order to cure the inflamed sciatic nerve, the treatment indicated by the traumatologist or by the physiotherapist must be carried out with medications, exercises and sometimes physiotherapy.

 

 

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