Understanding and treating Sciatica Nerve Pain

Understanding and treating Sciatica Nerve Pain

Sciatica (sigh-at-eh-kah) is a term used to describe the symptoms of pain such as tingling, numbness, or weakness in the leg. The pain typically begins in the lower back and travels down the buttock and then down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Although sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Common lower back problems such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis often cause sciatica symptoms. Physicians may diagnose a patient with sciatica if they have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or numb
  • Difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
  • Sharp pain which makes it difficult to stand or walk
  • Constant pain on one side of the buttock or leg
  • Radiating pain down the leg and possibly into the foot
  • Lower back pain

Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and annoying to constant and debilitating. This variation is usually a result of the location of the pinched nerve, which can intensify when moving suddenly or changing positions such as moving from sitting to standing.

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is made up of individual nerve roots which start in the lower back. Symptoms occur when the large nerve is compressed or irritated at or near its point of origin.

The condition will need to be treated if it is severe enough to cause ongoing flare-ups of sciatic nerve pain, so it does not worsen over time. However, nonsurgical treatments in conjunction with certain exercises can relieve the pain that most patients experience.  These include heat / ice, pain medications such as muscle relaxers, and epidural steroid injections.  Some may be temporary fixes, and they work for some patients but not all.

When the pain is severe or does not get better on its own, a more structured treatment approach, possibly including surgery, may be the best option for preventing or minimizing future pain and dysfunction for those who cannot get relief otherwise.

It’s best to share all your symptoms with your physician so the best treatment program can be designed.

Contact Liberty Pain Center, Mariam Ghobriel, M.D. 1-732-303-0102, www.libertypaincenter.com

Total Page Visits: 1727 - Today Page Visits: 1

About Monmouth Health And Wellness

MHW does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult his or her physician, or locate one in your area through the MHW search program on this website.