At its worst, sciatica pain can rank up there with a major toothache. It is a source of back pain that is easily identified and can range from annoying to debilitating. There are treatments available, both home remedies and physical therapies, that can provide pain relief.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a type of back pain resulting from pressure on the sciatic nerve. The longest nerve in the human body is the sciatic nerve. It runs from your lower back and branches off to innervate both of your hips, buttocks, legs and feet. Pressure on this nerve can affect your lower back, and the pain can radiate through the length of the nerve. It can also cause tingling, numbness or weakness in your leg or foot.
Why Does It Hurt So Bad?
It most commonly begins with a herniated disc in your lower back. Spinal discs are round, flat and flexible structures of connective tissue. They cushion the vertebral bones in your spine. These discs can get worn down with age. Injured discs can also cause pain. When the soft center of the disc pushes outward from the hard, outer ring, you have a hernia.
A herniated disc can put pressure on the surrounding nerves. Bone spurs in the spine and a narrowing of the spine – spinal stenosis – can also cause sciatic pain. If you ever hit your funny bone, you know how sensitive nerves can be when struck or damaged. When the sciatic nerve is compressed, it can cause severe pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will do an assessment of your pain, and ask questions regarding its severity and when or if you get any relief from certain positions or activities. Chronic and severe cases of sciatic pain may require imaging tests. These are used to identify causes such as bone spurs and herniated discs. An electromyography test may be done to identify which nerves in your back are being compressed.
Sciatica often resolves on its own with rest and over-the-counter pain medication. If these are ineffective, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants. Sometimes physical therapy is also required. Other non-invasive alternative treatments may be implemented.
Sciatica pain can be tough to endure; however, help is available. Contact Sovereign Rehabilitation to schedule an appointment. We make life feel better.
Posted on behalf of Sovereign Rehabilitation
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Suite 225
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 835-3340